Sunday, May 06, 2007

Chocoholic Squirrel

This afternoon I was working in my office, when all of a sudden I heard a racquet out on the patio. I opened my office door and stepped out into the patio and looked in the direction of the noise, near the chapel door. A squirrel had turned over a small waste basket and was admiring the contents. When it saw me, it acted like it was going to run away, but then stopped after only getting a couple of feet. I walked up to within about six or eight feet of it, and it just stood there looking at me. Then it turned to face me directly, took a defiant stance, and just stared at me. The staring contest lasted about a minute or two. When it seemed to have decided that I was no substantial threat, it turned and went back to the waste basket and pulled out a clear plastic container – the kind from the grocery store that the bakery department uses for cookies and cakes. I immediately recognized it as being from the coffee hour and saw that it contained about a third of a piece of chocolate cake. I then realized that the defiant stance was a warning not to get between the squirrel and the chocolate – a position I can readily appreciate.

The squirrel went to work on trying to open the container. It would bite at the edge of it, then pull the container up into its paws and try from a different angle. This went on for several minutes. Now, I know that I should have chased the squirrel away, but I was having such a grand time watching it furiously trying to get to the treasure that lay within. Finally, the squirrel managed to chew a small hole in the container. It poked its head in to get the chocolate cake, which was at the far side of the box. The squirrel had to crawl quite a way in through the small hole. I thought it might end up getting stuck, which would have been an even more funny sight. But it managed to reach the cake and back out with treasure in hand, or rather, in jaw. It took the cake about half way across the patio to a spot under one of the tables and began munching on this delectable chocolate feast (I had a piece during coffee hour and it was very good).

While the squirrel was feasting, I went over and cleaned up the trash and put it in the dumpster in the parking lot (which actually is another of the squirrel’s favorite hangouts – I have seen it there a number of times). I did find a piece of broccoli (undoubtedly left over from yesterday’s wedding reception). After the squirrel had finished eating the cake, I tried to throw the broccoli in the direction of the squirrel, but it would have nothing to do with it. Why eat vegetables when you can have chocolate? Last I saw of the squirrel, it was walking down the sidewalk heading toward Hillel (next door) which has a Coffee Bean franchise. The squirrel was probably wanting some coffee to go with the chocolate cake. Too bad for the squirrel that Coffee Bean is closed on Sundays.


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