Nighttime Raider

by Weston Martin, 12 | May 1, 2022 | 0 comments

One summer day when we had some visitors, we spied a little squirrel up in the treetops right next to our house. It was not much bigger than a chipmunk. Someone ran to get the field guide, and we decided it was a southern flying squirrel. That was a surprise, for most of us had never seen one before.

We were hoping we could watch him fly, so someone threw something at him. But instead of flying, he ran up the branch and disappeared into a hole in the tree. We were all very glad, for now we knew he was living right here in our yard.

Then one winter night Dad came in from the barn and said, “Something is rattling the bird feeder.”

We all ran to look, and I shone the spotlight. There were two flying squirrels right at our feeder, raiding the birdseed. We hoped we could see them fly, but they just blinked at us and kept right on eating. “No wonder the suet feeder empties so fast,” said Mom.

Now ever since, we sometimes see them snacking on our suet blocks, and sometimes two of them are running around on the tree trunks. But those times have always been in the dark except the first time we saw him. Until one morning Mom awakened me and said, “There’s something in the feeder. I think it’s a flying squirrel.”

In a few minutes, I was heading outside, and I poked a stick into the feeder. Sure enough, there came a flying squirrel. He darted halfway up the tree, then stopped and watched us. Then as soon as I was inside, he went right back into the feeder. We tried chasing him out, but he always went right back in. There were six inches of snow on the ground, and he might have been cold, so we let him go, and he stayed there for the rest of the day.

Southern flying squirrel
Southern flying squirrel. Photo ©

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