Uno y Dos

unothesquirrelThis is Uno the squirrel. I thought I got his compadre, Dos, in the photo, but I was wrong. I’ve never seen Uno without Dos or Dos without Uno. They live on the street where I walk the dogs, and though they will get out of the way of the dogs, they are in no big hurry. According to the neighbors on that street, the pair eats everyone’s summer garden vegetables. The Little Dog strains at her lead when she sees the two squirrels playing with pebbles on the sidewalk. The Big Dog doesn’t bother. She knows Uno and Dos will walk to the nearest tree and leisurely climb to a low branch, as if it’s a tedious effort and almost not worth it.

Uno and Dos particularly like the Park Ranger’s house. It’s beautiful, like a national park cabin, and each year a plethora of wild flowers bloom in front of his home. The Park Ranger built a special fence and planted grapevines along it. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out who was eating the grapes, until the dogs and I walked up on Dos who was underneath the vines, eating, while Uno played lookout. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen them move at squirrel speed. Dos freaked and tried to scramble out from under the vines but got more entangled. Uno nervously looked at me, the dogs, and then Dos. When Dos freed himself, he and Uno took the fence top exit. Slowly. The emergency was apparently over. As they left, both dogs turned and looked at me like, “Did you see THAT?”

“Yeah, I saw it,” I said.

The next time I saw the Park Ranger working on his yard, I told him Uno and Dos were the critters stripping his grapevines.

“I suspected so much,” he said, but he didn’t seem surprised nor did he act like he much cared.


10 Responses to “Uno y Dos”

  1. One and two, that’s good, but sounds much better in Spanish. Squirrels in the states eat a variety of food. The ones here, might, but I think they are hooked on nuts. I have to put out some grapes and see if they eat them. Only problem is, it attracts the birds and I don’t want those pesky Magpies stopping by.

  2. I think Uno and Dos would prefer nuts if they could get them, but they can’t, so they thieve what is available. I was a little surprised about the grapes. They are not mature, tiny and I’m sure bitter.

    Are the Magpies so bold they would come to your patio? They do look very pompous.

  3. If they don’t see anyone, they’ll come to the balcony and patio. But the moment they spot someone, they fly off.

  4. When you described Uno y Dos eating unripe grapes it reminded me of a time I saw Mourning doves eating chiltepine peppers off a wild bush growing in my neighbor’s yard, those peppers are hotter than a dickens [wonder where that saying came from?], but the doves didn’t seem to react at all. I didn’t have a computer back then, but somehow I researched about doves and it turns out birds in general can’t taste hot, maybe squirrels can’t taste bitter?

    • I imagine they can’t taste bitter either. I had no idea though until you put this comment here that was an option. Explains some things. They really stripped his grapevine.

  5. I’m back, I found this…

    “Dickens” is thought to be a euphemism for “the devil,” much as “gosh” is a sub for “God,” “heck” for “hell,” and “mofo” for … well, no point getting graphic. Some speculate that “dickens” is a short form of an earlier term “devilkin,” little devil, but this has never been firmly established.

    — Cecil Adams

    Who knew?

    • My grandmother used to say “dickens” all the time. I think it is an old word and politer word, like pshaw. I’m not sure if that is spelled correctly. I always says “hotter ‘n a popcorn fart” but that is for something like the weather, not usually spicy food.

  6. Cute names. I miss my squirrels. I guess I should plant grape vines because leaving nuts on the balcony doesn’t seem to be working! I’ve noticed that the younger the squirrel, the more they prefer fruit. It’s like candy. The older squirrels really want nuts and will only sniff grapes and apple slices, or they’ll take it in their mouth and then set it aside. Then they’ll just stare at you until you give them a nut.

  7. There aren’t any nuts in our area, Rene. I think they settle for fruits and vegetables but they want nuts. I still get the occasional squirrel at the bird feeder but he doesn’t last. The feral cats hang around the bird bath too much. The squirrel will actually take on the feral cat but I guess it’s too much of a hassle.

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