Sunday, April 08, 2007

Intelligence of acrobatic proportions

When someone is acting goofy or silly, or off the wall in some way, sometimes people, myself included, will use the word "squirrelly" to describe them... defines squirrelly as a slang word (adjective) meaning eccentric, flighty, or cunningly unforthcoming or reticent. Reticent is defined as disposed to be silent or not to speak freely; reserved, or reluctant or restrained.

OK, who here agrees with me that has totally missed the boat on the definition of squirrelly? Definitely the wrong definition... as far as common use of the word in our neck of the woods. Squirrelly means silly or stupid. Not right in the head. There's nothing reserved or cunning about it.

Watching the squirrels lately, I hereby declare both definitions to be inaccurate. Cunning is close, but cunning has a more evil connotation. Sharp, yes. Smart. Cautious, yes; reserved or reluctant... no way. The squirrels are the acrobats of the feeder. Able to perform feats defying gravity to achieve their picky goal, which is, of course, to reach the fresh, clean black sunflower seeds in the feeder itself and gorge themselves. They don't want those nasty ones on the ground, all mixed in with dirt and trod on by the nasty feet of the annoying, less intelligent, winged creatures. Those silly things who poop where they eat... nosirree, those smart squirrels want the good stuff.

Earlier this year, I noticed a particular squirrel who would climb up the feeble branches of a nearby 'burning bush' shrub and hop to the feeder. After I moved the feeder, this was no longer a practical approach. It took a few days, but the clever bugger decided he could climb the skinny black pole.

And he can. Very well. Very often.

The best part is scaring him off the feeder.

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