Once upon a time, in a land of bounteous beauty full of walnut trees, there lived three squirrel sisters. The eldest sister, Greta, was wise and strong. She was often the first to venture out of the largest of the walnut trees where they made their home, the tree draped with wild grapes, multiflora roses, bittersweet, honeysuckle and poison ivy so heavily that it resembled a tall giantess with flowing scarves.
Greta would begin her mornings with a little digging for the wonderfully rich walnuts that she had buried in the fall before this glorious spring day. Although a highly intelligent squirrel, she would sometimes forget the exact spot where her treasure had been stored. Much digging had to be done to find the gems.
She was always on the alert for any dangers that might be lurking in the garden near her home tree where most of the walnuts were put into the soft ground. Her sisters depended on her to watch out for them.
The middle sister was named Constance, never called Connie, that would not be suitable for one so highly regarded in her own mind, being the most vain of the squirrel clan that made their home just outside the boundaries of Faire Garden.
Constance was slightly self indulgent, she was worth it, and would pick the largest most succulent walnuts only for her dining pleasure. One could call her an epicurean, she lived for today, not being very mindful of her surroundings. She especially liked to munch while perched on the edge of the concrete birdbath with her lovely tail making the classic squirrel curve. She does present a fine example of lofty beauty.
The youngest of the sisters is Madeline, they do refer to her as Maddie because she is a bit of a madcap girl. More adventurous and slightly silly, Maddie’s favorite snack is the peanut pellets in the wire bird feeder that hangs from a shepherd’s hook on the daylily hill. She has noticed that this feeder has been moved multiple times and with each move has been made more difficult to climb onto. Maddie liked it best when it was nearer to the multi trunk maple tree where she could jump from the tree branches right onto the top of the hook. She considers herself fairly acrobatic, even for a squirrel, and prided herself in her ability to make that leap and feast on the peanut suet mix to her heart’s content.
The wire of the receptacle that holds her favorite food allows for her strong claws to grasp it tightly while swinging to and fro during her repast. She thought the movement fun and that it added to the daring of the whole enterprise.
Rarely, she would look up from her gobbling to check out what her sisters were up to on the ground. Maybe they had found a large cache of nuts that she would be invited to share.
Greta, feeling responsible for her siblings, was ever aware, however, and was scanning the area from her favorite perch in the silver maple, a ledge where a branch had been cut that had healed over to form a perfect landing for garden scouting. What was that creeping along the stone pathway? Quickly she sounded the alarm for all birds, squirrels, chipmunks, moles, voles, groundhogs and rabbits who might be partaking of the abundant food planted just for them by the kind gardener! “Chit, chit chit, chit, run away, run, as fast as you can, one and all!”
For Greta had spotted a cunning predator, one of several felines that make their appearance, oftentimes just as the feasting was at its peak. Although some of the cats are out of doors all the time and roam freely, Kitty was released from inside the house and was ready to defend his territory from the maurading hordes. Not to worry, little squirrel lovers in readerland, no one was captured this time, as usual, and all will live to return for more, maybe even later that same day!