He sat on the garden fence. Under the pretence of attending to his ablutions, the criminal mastermind formulated his cunning plan. He suddenly stopped what he was doing, and with a tweak and a twirl of his dastardly whiskers, he let out a maniacal laugh before parkouring his way to his shiny ruby target: fence to railing – railing to tree trunk – tree trunk to branch- branch to twig – twig to apple – to fence to shed roof to -oops….he dropped it! He folded his hairy arms, unfolded them again, and scratched his head while he considered his dilemma. He looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes and scoffed. Then with an ease that belongs only to his kind, he swiftly leapt back onto the fence – to railing- to tree – to apple number two! But he is wise. This time he returns to his criminal lair via a different route. Me and my apple tree – the helpless victims in this crime, can only stand aghast, as we watch our precious harvest being carried away. Actually; in reality, I stood somewhat in awe!! Firstly, by his audacity, secondly by his acrobatics and thirdly by his ingenuity.
In the long time that I’ve lived here I have never seen a squirrel in the garden until now. The funny thing is, I had literally just returned from delivering a newly composed talk on our subject (see Grow4it – Groceries from the Garden ), so to see him in action was the proverbial icing on the cake. His ankles are double jointed which earns him the much coveted title of being the only mammal that can run head first down a tree trunk! What really impressed me was his obvious intelligence. He appeared to understand straight away, that jumping across to an object 10 ft away in an upwardly direction, with an apple bigger than the size of your head in your mouth, apparently doesn’t end well! He only did it the once. He did not repeat his mistake.
Albert Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. Learning by making mistakes is a painful, sometimes embarrassing but inevitable part of life. It’s easier and definitely wiser, if you can learn from the mistakes others have made but if you’re trying out something no-one has ever done before, you’re going to have to bear the burden yourself. Thomas Edison didn’t view mistakes as failures but as opportunities to find out what doesn’t work. What patience! Such tenacity led to his holding over 1000 patents for his inventions! He didn’t allow the prospect of getting it wrong, hold any fear over him. Who else could use some of that courage? The more painful the result, the more swiftly the lesson is learned which makes me wonder if my little criminal hurt himself on his first attempt to journey home with his loot. But his initial failure at this new activity, has led to his learning a new skill – how to rob me blind, and strip my apple tree of its deliciousness! So, now I’m limbering up in preparation for the inevitable forthcoming; ‘Operation: Keeping Squirrel Mitts Off My Plums, Greengages, Figs and Hazelnuts’. I can see it’s not going to be a fair fight but I’ll put up a good one. Oh, and I’ve decided to call him ‘Albert’ –a name befitting such an amazing little squirrel genius, I think you’ll agree!
Limbering up for ‘operation squirrel mitts’