Meet and greet, but where’s my treat?

A quick glance at my roly-poly pal Parker the Fox Squirrel may have you murmuring to yourself “that squirrel looks like he’s been in the eggnog and cookies and doesn’t need any treats!”

In my recent post “Season’s Eatings” I wrote about treats left for my furry and feathered friends for the holiday, so I hope you will smile after reading about the shameless begging by my chubby buddy Parker.

On a recent Saturday morning, I planned a two-park agenda – first to Council Point Park, then a five-mile drive to Heritage Park to see their holiday décor. In the early morning weather report, the meteorologist said it was foggy, so I figured the fog would put the kibosh on the latter trip. When I looked out the front door, there was no sign of fog; I shook my head and off I went.

I arrived at Council Point Park, one mere mile away, where I discovered a few slick white patches in the parking lot – hmm. Temps were just at the freezing mark. The walking path had similar icy patches, but what struck me was the fallen leaves which had a thin coating of ice. Aah – it was freezing fog! The leaves looked a little like “Frosted Flakes” and the grass was similarly slick, so I decided to gingerly walk a couple of miles and take my time getting up to Heritage Park where surely their flooded pathways would be treacherous right now. I left droppings of peanuts in the shell and sunflower seeds at the usual three spots, entirely depleting my stash and unbelievably never saw a bird or a squirrel.

To kill some time, I took pictures of the frozen leaves, then I stopped at this decorated memorial tree to take a few shots since I’ve featured this tree before in my blog.

My peanut pal Parker was on the prowl.

The colossal blunder of being without a single peanut in my pocket, would soon be realized. There I stood taking photos of the tree, when suddenly I felt a tug on the back of my sweatpants. I didn’t have to have eyes at the back of my head to realize Parker had appeared on the scene and placed one clawed paw on the back of my sweatpants and gave a little tug.

I whirled around and once he was assured I saw him, Parker crept over to my right side. I burst out laughing and said “Honey, I’m all out … here, let me take you to where the nuts and seeds are down the path a little bit – follow me, okay?” But Parker, being Parker, endearing but sometimes stubborn, would have none of that. He wanted some peanuts NOW, dropped before his front paws, like he was a little prince.

Who could resist that pleading face?

Then there was another subtle reminder, for good measure, as I felt the pressure of a tiny paw on the side of my sweat pants.

Even the little “kiss” he planted on my hiking boot, still wouldn’t guarantee peanuts would magically appear.

He looked crestfallen and went up to a nearby tree. With crossed paws, he proceeded to pout …

… and glare at me for this food faux pas.

So how did those tactics work out Parker? Well, not so good. Since all I did was take photos of him, a persistent and impatient Parker exited the tree and circled around me to try again, sniffing the grass in case I’d tossed a peanut or two his way when he blinked and might have missed them.

One last steely gaze at me seemed to say “thanks a lot for nothing Linda” and Parker scurried off.

Oops. Well this was a Christmastime conundrum to be sure. I had broken my own cardinal rule to never give out all the peanuts without holding a few in reserve. That’s because a few years ago I did just that … I ran out of peanuts, produced the empty bag, yet one squirrel persisted in following me and/or running ahead of me. I gestured again to the empty bag, but that didn’t deter him one iota from following me. I had driven that particular day, only to arrive back at the car at the end of my walk, to see that same Fox Squirrel “parked” next to the car awaiting my return. He sat on his haunches, in begging stance, with pleading eyes, while swishing that tail. Perhaps he thought I had peanuts in the car. I christened that little bugger “Parker” that day.

P.S. – Not only was I happy to see my furry friend again, but it gave me an opportunity to grab a few shots to show you just how chubby the squirrels get in late Fall. It’s not the peanuts that make them fat. Mother Nature provides him and the other squirrels an extra fat layer and thicker fur to withstand the sometimes brutal Michigan Winter. So, no … I’m not fat shaming Parker at all!

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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43 Responses to Meet and greet, but where’s my treat?

  1. Ron Walker says:

    Parker, is a tubby looking little thing. I love squirrels. They are fun to watch, and can be very friendly. I have had some as pets. Those are really outstanding photos of Parker!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ron – I was pleased Parker was posing so nicely and just a few feet from me. The gray and black squirrels are a little skittish, but so cute and all the Fox Squirrels will beg, but Parker is like a pet with his antics. I used to follow a few squirrel sites, but there were too many daily posts, so I stopped – so many people had squirrels as pet, mostly rescues they had found that fell out of a nest and became another member of the family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. J P says:

    Let’s hope he doesn’t order a hit job on you. Keepa an extra close eye on your car now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. peggy says:

    How cute. Such friendly little squirrels. Parker looks well fed without his expected peanuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, he is very cute Peggy and full of personality, that’s for sure. And he’s not shy and has climbed up my pant leg before trying to reach the peanut bag if I’m not fast enough. I was glad to get some chubby pictures of him as some people have never seen how squirrels gain weight for the Winter months (courtesy of Mother Nature).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra J says:

    These photos turned out great Linda, it is so cute to see Parker touch your shoe like that. What a gift you have with animals. 🙂 Happy New year also 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Sandra – Parker was right there so I was lucky I had the camera out and could get some close-ups. My favorite is the picture up top of him sitting up begging. Such a cutie pie.

      Like

  5. Laurie says:

    That Parker is BOLD! I enjoyed reading about how he got his name.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Isn’t he? Jus tugging on my pants to get my attention – one time he climbed up my sweatpants leg to reach the peanut bag as someone was talking to me and I wasn’t quick enough for him. Yes, he was literally parked by the car and I had to wait for another walker to come along to distract him so I could pull out and not roll over him – he didn’t want to move. So I usually a small bag with peanuts now – I dropped the ball that day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps you need to leave a bag in your car for emergencies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I usually have a few tucked away in a pocket (out of sight) for that reason, especially when I walk. But I dropped the ball that day and I had given every last peanut and seed on my walk around – no one showed up as it was really cold (they wait til it warms up sometimes), so I tried to guide him there. He was obstinate.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A fat squirrel is a happy squirrel!
    Could you of not gone and got Parker peanuts from that other location and brought them back for him?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes – I hated to fat shame him like that because doesn’t he really look chubby in the tree pictures? Well, I knew there were nuts and seeds in the three locations (two were a little bit away – the walking loop is one mile) and one place I put treats was not far away … maybe 100 feet. No, he wouldn’t follow me there. I don’t want to pick up anything from the path – lots of goose poop. I don’t put the treats near goose poop, but there is lots of it. Once stuff is on the path, it stays on the path.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those are very sweet photos of Parker, Linda. I especially like the first photo and, also, the pleading face photo! Very well done. It is so cool that you have such a good rapport with a wonderful creature of nature!
    Yes, i am sure that very cold and brutal weather is on the way. Not exactly Floridians here… are we? I’m glad that Parker is plump and ready for any Siberian climate! 🌲🌲🐿🐿🌲🌲

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Tom – that was my favorite as he was posing so nicely and about three feet away from me. He’s not shy, that’s for sure. Parker has mastered the pleading face routine perfectly. 🙂 I was hoping to get some photos showing how Mother Nature helps out squirrels in the Winter and the photos in the tree certainly show that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Eilene Lyon says:

    What a charming and funny post, Linda. No, we can’t fat-shame the squirrels or other critters who don’t have the pleasure of central heating! They need all they can get. You’re such a caring soul to provide them with special delights. Your photos really “take the cake!”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joni says:

    Nice to see Parker again! He does look roly-poly. Do you think he knows where to look to get the food you left in the usual spots? Or does he think he’s special and gets extra?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, he sure is roly-poly Joni. I tried to get him to follow me to one of the three spots, just down the path from where he came over to me, but he followed a few steps, the turned around. I think he thinks he is special and gets extra. I packed a big bag today as we’re having crummy weather (you too likely) the next three days. Left and got one block and came back home as it was freezing fog and too slippery to walk and feel comfortable, even in lug-soled boots.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yea, it’s snowing out here tonight too….it looks pretty but I’m glad I cancelled my car appointment until next week….just hope there isn’t more COVID around as our stats are getting scary – there was a 300 number jump over Xmas weekend….where will it end.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They gave the stats yesterday or today for five days and we had almost 300 deaths. Scared to venture out anymore and now we have bad weather to contend with.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You created a wonderful post out of having no peanuts for Parker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – glad you enjoyed it. Parker sure is a cutie and has my heart (and he knows it). I know I disappointed him, so I’ve been taking an extra Ziploc bag with me in case I see him alone – I won’t make that mistake again.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Aw, Parker, what a charmer! That’s so sweet that he comes right up to you to beg. I’m guessing he’ll hold you to the ‘never go without a spare peanut’ rule again? You captured such adorable shots of him. PS – glad to hear that his plumpness is naturally occurring and not due to an overabundance of Nutter Butters! 😉 Such a fun post, Linda!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….animals are smart especially one that know Miss Peanut Lady…………..and……………….I love the “pouting” picture up in the tree

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That little face! Parker can really tug at one’s heart! I’m so glad you got a chance to see him again, even if you had to disappoint him. I love the picture of him with his paw on your sweatpants. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, he is just the cutest squirrel Barbara – how could you resist giving him peanuts? I felt so badly and he would not let it go – I think he thought it was a game and I’d produce peanuts for him eventually. He was really trying to get my attention with his paw. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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