My neighbor is a bird lover. She feeds them year round, knows all their names (I call them red bird, blue bird, little speckled bird etc.) and frequently calls to let me know if an unusual one has been spotted in the area. Last week my bird loving neighbor called and surprised me when she said "...hey, I think we have a bear..." Since we live 60-70 miles from the nearest mountains, bears are extremely rare in and around Farm and Fru Fru. In fact, I have never seen one here though several people have spotted them at one time or another in the area. It seems my neighbor woke to find her bird feeder pulled out of the ground post and all, not once but two nights in a row, all seeds eaten!
And so it was this rather exciting news I shared with the farmer and both farm hands that night at supper. You have to understand, when the farm hands and the farmer eat their supper, they generally do so hunched over their plates at the ready should someone try to take their food from them, grunting at best when any attempt by their wife and mother is made at pleasant family conversation. This news, however, caused F1 to lift his head, swallow thoughtfully, and pronounce it to be impossible for a bear to be in the area. I proceeded to remind him of previous bear sitings, but again, he scoffed at the possibility reminding me that last year this same neighbor had called the farmer to come over and kill a stick. In her defense, it was a very large stick and she, thinking it moved, believed it to be a snake. F1 then nonchalantly declared the bird seed bandit to be ................a squirrel.
He did not flinch when he said it. He was dead serious.
Only then did both F2 and the farmer look up from their plates. I, watching to see if even a hint of a smile crossed his face, realized that F1 had gone back to his meal, oblivious to the fact that the rest of us were waiting for the reasoning behind this strange announcement.
"What?????!!!!!" I asked. "Let me get this straight........You think a little 1 pound, bushy tail squirrel yanked a wooden post and feeder out of the ground, flung it into the yard, and then ate all the seeds????......."
"Well" he said mid-chew, "it was probably a couple of squirrels, maybe a possum too..."
"Ok", I countered, "so you're telling me, you can't see a black bear wandering down here from the backwoods somewhere, hungry after a long winter's nap, but you can see a team of GIANT squirrels working in tandem with a possum, pulling a fence post out of the dirt and throwing it down not once but twice??!!"
"Yeah, pretty much" he replied,........ and then went back to eating.
I realized then that this unusual burst of family conversation had worn itself out, as everyone else went back to their food, their chewing and their plate hunching.
I am going on record though, when I say that if I have a choice between seeing one hungry little black bear or a team of GIANT squirrels, I will take the bear everytime.........................................
**We never did find the culprit...some things are just meant to remain a mystery**