Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first named squirrel!
There are five–five!–squirrels out in the backyard at the moment. Four of them are, so far, indistinguished.
And then there’s Walky.
This was an odd one. I watched this squirrel for a couple of days before I pinned down what was nagging at my brain. Namely–this squirrel walks.
Squirrels, in my experience, primarily proceed by a series of short hops, tail undulating behind them in an almost serpentine motion. Occasionally they run, or scramble. It’s only when they are on a narrow ledge or a wire that they settle to a sedate walk.
This squirrel walks everywhere. I’ve never seen him hop. He ambles down the path. Occasionally–and this is really odd–he falls to his belly and pushes himself along with his hind legs. I’m not sure if this is a stretching behavior gone strange, or if Walky has something wrong with his legs or his brain. He seems to climb perfectly fine, and then I can’t tell him from anybody else, but on the ground…he walks. And only walks.
I can’t tell if he’s limping, or if this squirrel just strolls to the beat of a different drummer. I did see him holding his tail at various odd angles, which I originally was baffled by–they looked uncomfortable!–until I realized that the squirrel was using his tail as a sunshade against the uncomfortable glare. So he’s not a dumb squirrel just…slow.