Morning Prayer: 42/100. The Glutton Squirrel.

Not for the glutton

Not for the glutton?

Squirrel Glutton hung upside down from the bird feeder chain and gorged on seeds. When I walked out on the patio, Squirrel scooted up the chain, along the limb, up the trunk.

He eyed me from a fork in the tree trunk. Just his ears, eyes and nose in sight. Squirrel’s steady gaze said, “You go back inside. I’ll go back for more seeds.”

I don’t mind squirrels at the bird feeder as long as they do no damage. But usually the feeder gets pulled to the ground and the seeds scattered. Watching Squirrel watch me, the idea hit me.

I went to the garage and returned with a plastic cup 1/2 filled with seed. I wedged the cup into the hollow in the oldest, lowest limb of the aging maple.

I looked up to Squirrel. Still two limbs above, watching, waiting for me to go inside. I withdrew only to the patio, to watch how quickly he discovered his buffet. He came down one limb, sat and looked at me. Suspiciously. Then another limb and now only one foot from the seed cup.

Squirrel perched stock-still and made sure I was equally motionless. I turned my head to watch a cardinal hen alight on the bird feeder. When I looked back, Squirrel squatted before the seed cup, chewing fervently.

For some 15 minutes he enjoyed perhaps the easiest meal he’s ever known. His face dipped into the cup, pulled back and with his hands cupped almost prayer-some before his face, he chewed with rapture. When he’d gotten every seed not stuck to the cup’s bottom, he gripped the lip and danced and pulled and gyrated until he unwedged the cup from its trough.

He gnawed around its lip. He turned it upside down and chewed the bottom edge. He shook it with his hands. He stared with such intensity, as if that would free the few remaining final seeds.

With a look of nonchalance, he let go of the cup. It bounced once on the limb, flipped over twice as it fell to the ground. Squirrel watched the spin. He darted up the tree, crossed over at the topmost limb to an adjacent oak. From that to the neighbor’s oak, then the next and the next. He leaped to their roof, scampered to its peak, and disappeared down the other side.

I like to think he went to tell his friends of the not so bad human living at my house. Of course, I expected no display of gratitude from Squirrel. I am thankful he ate his fill and left the feeder intact. I am thankful I got to watch it all.

And I am thankful it set me thinking about how often I seize the pleasure of something that comes my way until there’s nothing left but the remnants I cannot squeeze from the bottom of the cup. Whew. So thank you, Squirrel, for showing me myself.

And thank you, God, for showing me Squirrel.
I am reminded to pause when I so rapidly and fervently devour
whatever joy is put before me.
I am urged to slow down, even pause completely,
make the moment one of thanks
for the joy I am amidst.
The prosperity surrounding us has infinite forms,
limitless meaning, endless Supply.
Rather than accept it all as fore-granted,
I appreciate this chance to celebrate its instance
and its essence with “thank you.”
And, God, perhaps Squirrel did just that
with every dip into the cup.
And so I thank you, God.

Love and blessings,


20 June ’16