Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who's Smarter

As I was out walking this afternoon, I noticed a smashed pumpkin along the side of a street I was strolling down. Running up the sidewalk and heading toward the carnage was a squirrel. When the squirrel noticed me, it stopped and lifted itself upright onto it's hind legs to look at me. I stopped, stood very still, and watched to see what the little furry fellow would do next. After a minute of nervous twitching, the squirrel continued on toward the pumpkin.

I began to slowly walk forward and the squirrel took off running down the sidewalk, about ten feet in front of me. It seemed not to know if it was better to continue running straight ahead or to dart into the bushes on the left. I wondered why the squirrel didn't just turn toward, what would seem, an easy escape. This parade went on for about 20 yards. Finally the squirrel took a sharp left turn and disappeared into the foliage. I wondered if the squirrel would remember that it had been interested in the scattered pumpkin pieces and seeds; so I stood still and looked back to watch what would happen next.

On my daily walks, I often unintentionally frighten pigeons from the scraps of food these birds find on the sidewalks and streets in my neighborhood. The birds usually fly away, not returning, and do not seem to remember that they had something to eat.

The squirrel had back-tracked, and it popped out of the bushes about 15 yards away from me, and it scampered back to the pumpkin. I guess squirrels are smarted than pigeons. I wonder if that was it's plan - to get me away from an easy meal and then dine in peace.

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