“Dude!” I said to James. “What the hell is going on out there?”
We both watched as a large squirrel sat on the railing, being climbed over and under by a smaller squirrel. The large squirrel was impatient with this, and would occasionally shove the smaller one off the railing. Undaunted, the small one would come scampering back up the supports and resume trying to burrow under the large squirrel, or, when the big squirrel moved, sit indignantly on its head.
After a minute or two, the big squirrel lifted a paw, possibly preparing to backhand the other one, and I spotted a double row of squirrel boobs. Aha! The big one was a nursing mommy squirrel, and we were watching somebody getting weaned.
I’ve suspected for awhile that the small, somewhat large headed squirrels I’ve been seeing were young ones, but I wasn’t sure, because when I think “young rodent,” I usually think pinkies, or at least something much smaller than the adults. Baby nutria are like a third the size of the adults, like little footed eggplants. These are pretty much on the low end of normal squirrel sized.
And so, a new generation of misfits, unfortunates, and accident-prone botfly hotels come to inhabit the yard…