Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Tale of Nutkin


   Since my daughter bought her home in the Summer, there has been much to do there. Although she has done a lot of work, and her boyfriend has too, there is still much of a cosmetic nature to be done there. Things at her job have heated up, and she has less time than she did in the Summer. I don't mind doing a few pre-approved tasks, and so I drop by the house a couple of times a week and do some of the more time consuming tasks there. This week I was there painting the interior of both the front and back doors with the correct paint.  Normally, I play the radio while I am there, because it can seem spooky being there alone in a place with, as yet, little furniture, and sounds which are, as yet, unfamiliar to me.  I switched on all the lights I could in order to do a good job with the painting. I mixed the oil based paint for about fifteen minutes, selected a brush and got to work.  I was working on the second door when there was a thud on the roof, a roll down the roof, and a clang. It sounded like something fairly large. I opened the door and went out to the deck only to see Nutkin extricating himself from the gutter.  My daughter's home is shrouded by a number of tall oak trees which this year, are heavy with acorns. Since Autumn began, when we enter the back door of the house we are often pelted with acorns like ammunition. They really do hurt as they fall a great distance. This week my daughter raked up piles of them close to the house, and moved them away from the house so no one would slip. The lucky main recipient of all of these acorns is a solitary gray squirrel that my daughter calls Nutkin.  Nutkin spends his days gathering choice acorns from the gutters on her house. His favorite dining area is the flat railing top which goes all the way around her large deck. He leaves lots of eaten acorn parts on the deck railing.  The noise on the roof as I painted, was apparently Nutkin, who seems to have gained a little weight since I last saw him, slipping and rolling down the roof. He apparently got caught on the gutter and this saved him from a fall to the ground.  "Are you alright, Nutkin ?" I called.  He looked at me, as if to say, "I'm a squirrel, you moron. I don't speak to humans !" Then, he got up and danced away.    I finished up the painting. Turned off the fan I was using there to cut the fumes.  Squirrels can do a lot of damage to homes in terms of roofing, gutters and they can chew and enter a house and inhabit the attic I thought.  Then, I thought that this squirrel has everything he needs. He has a quiet place away from other squirrels. He has a lifetime supply of acorns. He lives in a high perch on one of the highest trees in a relatively mild climate.  We'll have to watch to make sure he doesn't do any damage. Other than that, I hope Nutkin stays.

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