© Sanchayan Nath 2016
This essay is available for viewing on Bored Panda ~ http://www.boredpanda.com/the-story-of-a-squirrel-which-lived-in-my-attic/
I live in a small university town named Bloomington in Indiana, USA. The apartment complex I live in is fairly eco-friendly and I often encounter deer, squirrels and rabbits on the streets. Some of my friends have also sighted a few foxes late at night or early morning.
Last November, I photographed (Image A) this cute little squirrel gorging on berries on a small tree, right outside my balcony. It appeared to be stocking up on vitamins and minerals to ward off the winter flu.
A few weeks later, in January 2016, I found her shivering in the cold outside my attic in the balcony. I had left the door of my attic slightly open. This is because there were a few large boxes inside, which prevented me from closing the door completely. In a few days, the squirrel had made its home in my attic!
In the mornings, as I sat at my desk, working, she would often peer at me through the glass balcony door. It was as if she was curious – What the hell is this human doing at his desk on such a nice Sunday morning? (see image B.1 below).
That morning, I decided to follow the squirrel outside into the balcony, with my camera in hand. The moment she saw me she jumped right back into the attic (Image B.2). She appeared to be saying – “Oh My God! OMG! He saw me! He saw me! I better hide in the safety of the attic ….!”
She then peered at me from behind the door (Image B.3). She appeared to be thinking – “I am Bond! Z 007! No one can find me here!” But then she noticed me pointing my camera at her right through the door! She jumped right out of the door (Image B.4). She must have been disgusted with my curiosity – “Bloody Paparazzi! Won’t even let me hide in peace! I better get out of here!”
But, over time, we got used to each other’s presence! She would often peep out of the attic, and stare outside (Image C)
When the days began to get warmer, she would be out on the balcony, having fun – playing with my country’s national flag (Image D), stretching herself (Image E) or playing with her tail (Image F).
As she exercised, she must have contemplated – “Bloody winter! I have become so unfit that I can’t even touch my toes!”
Sometime she would notice me taking photographers of her, and feel embarrassed by all the attention (Image G). So she would just close her eyes and pretend that I was not around her.
A few days later, I began to hear a lot of noise coming out from the attic. I assumed that she had brought a companion with her, and that they were making passionate love with each other. But, what I noticed a few days later amazed me (Image H).
So, all the noise coming out from the attic was not because of Ms. Squirrel making love to her partner; The sounds were those of her babies having a little bit of fun. It now turns out that she had given birth to two little babies some time back – they had finally grown big enough to venture out in the open. Here, (Image H) they are staring at me – clearly in awe of something!
These two were extremely naughty (Image I). They would often be seen playing with each other in the balcony while the proud mom held watch.
One of the kids was very attached to its mom. It loved playing with its mom’s tail (Image J).
Sometimes, it appeared to be whispering into its mom’s ears (Image K).
I was beginning to feel very attached to this squirrel family. But, April had arrived and it was almost time for me to move to a different apartment. I was not sure what would happen to the family once new tenants arrived in my place. The babies were also looking healthy.
I felt that it was time for them to return to the wild! I assumed that they would be safer there – away from prying human eyes.
So, one Saturday morning, I asked them to leave, and latched the door to my attic! They jumped out from my balcony out into the great unknown!
Image M (below) is one of the last photos that I clicked of the family. The child appears to be pecking its mom on the forehead!
I hope all three survive Bloomington’s urban wild and I hope more baby squirrels are in the making next spring. May Nature bless America’s urban squirrel population!