The Average Squirrel’s Brain (2007)
Just how large is the average squirrel’s brain? No, the furry, tree-climbing animal with the long bushy tail…..not that boyfriend or the goofy freckled kid next door. The ANIMAL squirrel, you know. Missouri Tree Monkey. Tail-flipping Mister Attitude with an extra lively dose of jump and bounce. That critter. Just how large is the AVERAGE squirrel’s brain? Probably not very large. Because their heads are small, of course. You know, the LENGTH x DEPTH x WIDTH deal….as lack of space to adequately occupy a given volume. Bla..Bla...Bla…Bla…and so it goes.
Four squirrels this very morning caught my eye as they played in the park. Skirting horizontally around the scattered trees. Upside down, downside up, hopping and leaping, just happy to draw breath. Thankful for the sunshine which arrived promptly on time after the rain and fog. You could almost hear their tiny critter voices saying….
“Hey Bud! Over here!”
“Ha! Gotcha….now you’re It!”
“Aaack! Missed me you furry scoundrel!”
“Harley! Get your flea bitten carcass down here and bury some nuts!”
“Where’d you put the walnuts Ed?”
“Uh, I dunno. In the ground about 3 paws deep….kinda maybe sorta over there in the grass by those bushes. Yeah, exactly and precisely there in that fence row. Yeah, there Ma.”
“Okay Axle Bushytail Treeleaper, you are too slow to catch me today.”
“Oh go leap out of a tree.”
How large can their brains be? They are running around everyday, burying nuts, sleeping in holes and nests of leaves. Playing carefree and unconcerned about tomorrow or even later today, they spend their short lives. Kind of blissful and empty-headed for a creature…don’t you think? Well, maybe and maybe not.
Do you see many squirrels during the middle hours of the day? Think about it. In the cool freshness of morning and the calm easiness of the evening hours they bounce around everywhere. Then Poof! They are put up at noonday and in darkness. A nap at noon and a whole night’s sleep….I could probably leap from branch to branch like Tarzan with a lifestyle like that. And were these not the hours The Lord walked in The Garden with Adam and Eve? Hmmm….
And the burying nuts and forgetting where they put them….that seems kind of stupid. Or maybe not. Is it so stupid to plant trees and seed the earth for a harvest another will reap years from now? Sounds maybe more selfless than stupid. Long-term rather than short-term. Preferring others’ welfare before ourselves. Hmmm, again.
Then there is the blissfulness and carefree attitude. You know the hunters may come this evening and end many a furry life to feed a hungry family of humans residing nearby. Or the neighbor boy and his silent but deadly pellet gun may pick the occasional long-tailed fuzzy beast off of my Aunt Bev’s birdfeeder. You talk about one mad lady. Wooo Boy! Herself being an accessory to the murder, having lured the unsuspecting quarry in with free food. Now his lifeless carcass is slumped like a ragdoll across sunflower seeds and milo. Hmmmm...another story.
This brings up the free food issue, which is a subordinate of the carefree issue. What school of annoying and cute do average squirrel’s attend to train us humans to feed them….for free?! How much money is spent to keep them out of birdfeeders and they still manage to hang with one toe and contort like Houdini to get the food anyway? And then we refill the feeder. Go figure!
It must be their small brains. Perhaps small brains don’t have room for clouded thoughts and moral dilemmas. Maybe small brains don’t allow for the cares of this world to cause sleepless nights of turmoil or rob average squirrels of a refreshing noonday nap. Maybe the small brains of average squirrels have too little room for greed to lay up stores for themselves beyond what they can use. Perhaps the small squirrel brains limit how much self glory they can contain for what they do for others. Forgetting self for the sake and preservation of their species. Oh, that all species could have adequately small brains like the average squirrel.
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