This time the winters are getting unbearable with the incessant & heavy snowfall & dropping temperatures. The mother-squirrel was finding it difficult to gather food for her & her new-borns. It is a tough job in the conditions outside her warm nest. And, she now has one more mouth to fend for – the cute, lil’ red one from the nearby nest, her cousin’s pup. It indeed was proving to be a difficult time for her.
As she lay near her new-borns & her adopted son – all of them huddled close to her, she tries to listen to the calls of her relatives in the nearby trees. Soon her thoughts wandered about how difficult it is becoming for all of them to survive this season. As she tries to concentrate on the different but familiar calls, she thought she missed one of them. She tried to concentrate harder so that she could hear the sound she wanted to. But no, she did not. And then she remembered, she had not heard the call yesterday & the day before too, but it skipped her mind as she was too occupied with the new member of her nest.
She waited for a few minutes more, hoping just in case……… And when the sound she wanted to hear did not reach her now-on-full-concentration-mode ears, her heart skipped a beat. She thought, once again?
And soon, she leaped out of her warm nest to the cold outside. She hopped from one branch to another and soon reached the designated tree. When she went inside the nest, she was filled with regret. The lil’, red one was lying silent & stiff. She was too late.
This piece of fiction has been inspired by an article I came across recently-
“Science suggests that ‘being squirrely’ means being altruistic. In keeping with Hamilton’s Rule, when a red squirrel baby is in trouble, other squirrel moms will oftentimes “adopt” the youngster and go out on a limb to help. — Global Animal”
You can read the full article here –
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Image source – Google