May 21, 2011

Some Squirrels Are Nice

Out of the blue, my three year old grandson blurted what must have been to him a very important piece of information.  I thought he was engrossed in a kid flick about robots on a spaceship, so his totally unrelated announcement puzzled me.

"Some squirrels are nice," he stated.
Photo by Brenda Hollingsworth
I laughed, and his little face puckered soberly as he further defended his thoughts with an exasperated little grunt.

"And some birds are nice to squirrels."  

I realized his bruised feelings needed a little soothing.  "Why, of course, some squirrels are nice," I told him.  His face brightened in agreement, and we spent the next several minutes in a rabbit-trail conversation about good bird manners and proper squirrel behavior.    

Okay, so how in the world does a preschooler come up with a measurement for the degree of "niceness" in the character of a squirrel?  It's not like he overheard one of them saying 'please pass the nuts.'  Maybe he saw a scuffle between one of the squirrels and the blue jay that bullies our backyard, and his little mind thought . . .

~Some nice squirrel.      ~Bad bird.

Steller's Jay
Photo courtesy of Brenda Hollingsworth

Perhaps he watched a robin join forces with the squirrel to fight back against the blue jay, and amidst all the chittering and scolding and chirping he thought

 ~Some nice bird.    ~Bad bird.   ~Good squirrel.

Looking for spring
Photo courtesy of Brenda Hollingsworth

Or…. maybe he watched the flurry of a rowdy chase and scramble and decided the squirrel instigated the whole ruckus after all, and all the birds were innocent.

~Nice bird.    ~More nice birds.   ~Bad, BAD squirrel!!!

Oh, no.  Now I'm getting an image. 

Can't you just see him?  He's a cocky little tree-rat leaned against a branch, sporting a trench coat tailored to perfection and complete with a slit in back to allow for his puffy tail.  Smoke from a little stogie curls upward past his dark shades.  Up it snakes over the brim of his little fedora as he gives me a dismissive nod before attempting some shady deal on last season’s nuts……

Oh, my…. conversations with three year olds are the best!

Photos by Brenda Hollingsworth. Copyright. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Please check out Brenda's photostream by clicking on the links.  Her work is AMAZING!!  
Thanks, Brenda for letting me use your pics to illustrate this post.  ~De

Revised excerpt from my original title, "Good For A Grin", July 20, 2009


  1. I love to watch the squirrels play in the yard. And I love conversations with my 3 year old granddaughter. My daughter in law is always posting on Facebook about the hilarious conversations she has with their 3 year old. Loved this one with your grandchild. Thanks for sharing!
    Pam at

  2. Pam, I'm convinced that conversations with children offer some of the BEST inspiration for writing. ;) Little ones keep me laughing at life!



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