Friday, February 21, 2014

Feed 'Em, Don't Fight 'Em!


Luke 12:15
Then he said to them, "Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for squirrels.  I can't get enough of their amusing antics as they scurry through the yard, chase each other in the trees, and converge under the bird feeders to nab wayward seeds.  Is it any wonder, then, that a main character in my books, The Glade Series, is Grey, True Squirrel of the Old Ones?  Even if you are in that camp which views squirrels as bird seed hogs, attic squatters, and garden robbers, I urge you to let Grey change your point of view.  Or, at the least, temper your outlook.

But, I digress . . . 

Because of my affection for squirrels, I always spread extra bird seed on the ground to invite them to the banquet.  Why should they be excluded?  My motto?  Feed 'em, don't fight 'em!

One day, when my husband, Danny, returns from a trip to our local big box store, he brings a surprise.  "Look what I found for our squirrels," he beams.



"Wow!  These look great!  I bet they'll love them," I say.

"I'll put the screw hook right on that pine near the feeders so we can easily watch from the deck or windows," Danny says.

I'm excited about this new addition to my squirrel friends' diets.  As Danny is installing the Sweet Corn Squirrellog, I wonder how long it will take the furry-tailed critters to discover it.

The squirrels are curious, yet cautious, wary even, of this odd-looking object near their feeding grounds.  At long last, one adventurous squirrels edges close enough to take a nibble.  When he does, he stays and stays and stays!  That is until another bold and hungry squirrel aggressively shoos him away so he can have his fill.

The swap and trade, confront and chase, continues until not one morsel is left.  All the while, however, the cob remains firmly in place because it's so securely affixed to the cork screw.  And, it seems, every squirrel who wishes to take a bite gets a chance.

"Well, they've eaten both corn cobs," I tell Danny.  "Since we don't have any more of these, is there something else squirrels like to eat that we could put out there to tide them over until we get to the store?"

Danny makes a quick internet search.  "Apples!  It says here that squirrels like them.  We have some, don't we?"

"Sure do!"

I waste no time fetching and washing an apple, and carrying it out to the corkscrew.  The fruit's pliable pulpiness offers no resistance as I push it onto the hook.  All set to go!



Do the squirrels like the apple?  Can we say - LOVE?  If we thought their sharing of the corn cob was competitive, we hadn't seen anything yet!  Every squirrel wants in on the action, but the one in immediate possession has no inclination to share.  Taking turns with the corn cob was one thing, but the apple ups the ante.

Before we know it, the squirrel-who-says-MINE-ALL-MINE yanks the remaining piece of apple off the corkscrew and heads for the trees.  Another squirrel, just as covetous, spies him, and the chase is on!



We look on as the drama unfolds in the branches above.  "I wonder how long it will be before that squirrel drops the apple?  With that mad dashing about, he can't possibly hold onto it forever, can he?"

THUD!  The relished remains of the juicy apple land on the forest floor.  Because of their immense and intense greed, both squirrels were denied the dining pleasure they could have experienced had they only been willing to share.

~

Are you missing out on opportunities to share with others?

Prayer:  Like the squirrels, Father, we too often take on that "mine-all-mine" mindset and miss out on the opportunities to share our good gifts with others.  May we remember Jesus' words that life doesn't consist in an abundance of possessions, but in the abundance of Your love.  Amen.

8 comments:

  1. Martha, I love this post on how entertaining squirrels can be...and how greedy.

    They also tend to get themselves into trouble--running out in front of cars or (as in my recent experience)--getting into a vent on the roof (trying to find warmth), getting trapped and causing my washing machine to overflow and kitchen sink to back up.

    It's so easy to get into an "it's all MINE" mindset. Adults can have it as easy as toddlers.

    If we're honest, it's easy to get into that mindset--needing to store things up for ourselves "just in case". Yet, I'm reminded that God will supply all my needs. Needs...not wants...

    Love and blessings,

    Kim

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post, Kim, and I do appreciate you stopping by and also sharing this on Google! :)
      Sounds like a squirrel really was up to no good in your house recently - what a mess! And, darting in front of cars? I'm always dodging one; if I ever hit one, I would probably cry for days.
      Yes, the "all mine" mindset is difficult not to get caught up in. We do need to remember that God will meet our needs, not our wants, at all times, and learn to be content.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. A wonderful lesson here. We want to have everything at once for ourselves...the greed never ends. There is a saying in our native tongue which translates like this - stretch your legs to the length of your mattress.

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    1. Oh, I like that saying, Janaki! We should only claim what it is we need, not what it is we want.
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I loved this post! I have a soft spot for squirrels too and applaud you for your consideration and compassion. Far too few are that way and just consider the birds. I love the message of this post. <3

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Jessica! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and that you and I share the love for squirrels. They are God's creatures, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I can just imagine the feeding frenzy and am amazed how you found God's message in it all! Love it! I didn't know that squirrels go nuts for apples. You learn something new everyday!!

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    1. I didn't know about the apples either until Danny looked it up. :) Yes, it was quite the feeding frenzy, and I, too, am glad I could find a lesson in it all.
      Thanks so much for visiting, Kathy!
      Love and blessings!

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