When we first saw Rocky, he was just starting on his life experiences. We had been putting food out for the birds and other squirrels since we so much enjoyed watching them. At first Rocky wouldn’t take food from my hand but after a week; give or take a few days, he slowly begin to trust me enough to take food. Each day I would work with him, then after about three weeks later I was able to pet Rocky.
Thinking back, I wonder how funny I must have seemed to the neighbors, every day out there talking to a squirrel trying to convince the little guy, to trust me. Then about a month later, Rocky started jumping up my lap when I sat out in the yard. A couple of months later he begin to come into the house and he was one nosy little squirrel, who found the food supply in less than an hour. Of course he helped himself. Rocky and Tyke would play running thru the house chasing each other for hours, then later you find them curled up together taking a nap on the sofa.
One day out in the yard, the little old man rode past on his bike and saw Rocky sitting on my lap which threw him into a fit. He begin jumping up and down, flapping his arms, screaming at the top of his lungs, put that diseased rodent down before you get germs from it. Suddenly, most of the neighbors came running out to see what all the screaming was about and one neighbor said, I think he going to take flight, with the way he’s flapping his arms and jumping around. I went inside so I wouldn’t have to listen to him ranting and raving about a little squirrel that never bothered him.
All the neighborhood children enjoyed playing with Rocky, and he would let them pick him up and carry him around. When school started back up, it didn’t take Rocky long to figure out where the bus stop was at, that the children took everyday. Every morning he would make a trip down to the bus stop because he knew someone would have a treat for him. One day he decided to try to get on the bus and the driver got real mad and started yelling at Rocky to get away from the bus door. Amazing how one little squirrel enjoyed being around people.
We decided that we needed to move to a house closer to his job, so we begin to search for a new house. After a month or so we found a nice house in a good neighborhood and decided to rent it. The last week of June we started packing boxes so we could move in the first of July, actually two days before the first we started getting things moved into the new house. On the second of July, we was getting the last load to move and that of course had the bird food and food for the squirrels to be moved. Before I placed it in the car, I sit plenty out for the squirrels and birds, and then put the rest up. We had left the door open on the car and the box of peanuts was on the floor board. No one noticed that Rocky had managed to get in the car and was having a blast with the peanuts. We got ready to leave to go to the new house and of course Rocky went alone to. As we were unloading the car, carrying stuff in the house, when we came back out there was Rocky sitting on a box, just looking around at the new sights.
Suddenly Rocky jumped out of the car and climbed up the tree in the front yard, barking loudly. Then we decided to make a platform for him on the tree so we could place his food on it so he could eat in a safe spot because we didn’t know if there were cats around. Within a week or so, new squirrels started showing up to eat. We guessed it was because we were the only house at the end of the lane with woods across from the front of the house. However; by the middle of August we had between fifteen to twenty squirrels we were feeding, plus a lot of birds, so we decided to cut the cost of feeding down a little.
We came up with a plan, so to speak, we decided to go to the county to gather acorns, walnuts, and walk the farmers field after harvest for corn. Of course we got permission to walk in the farmer’s field. Now this plan worked out great as we were able to collect a lot of food for the winter months. We would spend a couple of days gathering the food and even some friends pitched in and helped gather food. After gathering the animals food for the day, we would invite the friends to stay for a cookout. The garage worked great for storing the food in tote boxes, so the squirrels wouldn’t be able to get the food all at once to bury or hide the food for winter months. Collecting the food this way saved a lot of money, since we were buying fifty pounds of bird food every two weeks, and a huge bag of corn. now the squirrels had a variety of different food, but we still bought peanuts for them and once a week I made peanut butter crackers for them.
With the huge yard, Rocky and Tyke would chase each other around playing together. then one day I got a puppy that was four weeks old from the animal shelter. We called him Midnight and at first he wasn’t sure about Rocky. Midnight would hang back a little when Tyke and Rocky would play together but a short time later Midnight began to warm up and join in the fun. Now to see the three play together is a sight to see since Midnight is a very huge dog, actually not a year old yet. Midnight loves to grab a ear of corn and run off with it and has learned how to shuck corn, which everyone gets a laugh out of it.