The Story of Spot and Skimp
The Story of Spot and Skimp
Hi. My name is “Spot” – short for “Spotted Back.” I’m a squirrel (the one looking in the window) and I mostly live in a large backyard of a house in South Lincoln. There are a lot of trees in the yard of the house, so it’s very popular with squirrels. It’s not unusual to see four or five of us foraging for food dropped from the bird feeders and chasing each other around the yard.
My name comes from a spot on my back, light blond and about the diameter of a cigarette filter. Because it’s on m back and I’m a squirrel, I’ve never seen it and don’t know or remember how it got there. I do know that it makes me easy to recognize by other squirrels and also Peanut Man, the man who lives in the house with his wife who also lives there. He’s a nice guy, and I’ve heard the woman call him “Ron” so that must be his real name, but to a couple of us squirrels, it will always be Peanut Man. That’s because he likes giving un-salted peanuts to us squirrels if we come up close to him when he’s sitting out on the patio. He almost always seems to have a supply of them handy to share with us, and especially with me and another squirrel who lives in the same back yard.
That other squirrel’s name is “Skimp” which is short for “Skimpy Tail.” I don’t know why, but his tail is only about 2/3 as long as the rest of ours, with not that much hair – at least for a squirrel – growing on it. I don’t know what happened to Skimp to damage his tail in that way, but I know he pays a price for it. He seems to be the favorite of the other squirrels, with their long, luxurious tails, to chase out of the yard. Fortunately for Skimp, he’s a good climber and I’ve never seen hem even come close to getting caught.
What’s really neat is that over the past few weeks, Ron has expanded his squirrel feeding program to giving Skimp and me a peanut if we come to the patio door of the house and look in the window. When we do that, if he is in the den on the other side of the door, and sees us, he’ll usually open the door and drop a peanut on the concrete if we’ll come up real close and look at it held in his hand. He doesn’t make us take it from his hand, though I know I would if I needed to in order to score a peanut, and I’m pretty sure Skimp would to.
And the other squirrels? The guys without a spot on their back or a short-changed tail? They’ll come up on the patio sometimes, just to see if a peanut may have been left there, but get this: they run like crazy when the Peanut Man opens the door. I know he’d give them a peanut too, if they didn’t run off, but they’re so cool – in their minds – that they run away from instead.
That’s pretty ironic because Skimp and I really do rank at the bottom of the squirrel social register, flawed as we are. It’s almost like Ron watches out for us just because we’re kind of squirrel outriders and not really accepted by the group. Underdogs, if you want to put it that way, and I have to wonder if Ron in his life has ever been or felt like an underdog himself.
Whatever, I just hope he keeps the peanuts coming.
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