Talk about time bringing tolerance: Years ago, I used to rail against squirrels when I wrote about them in my Atlanta Journal-Constitution gardening column, calling them names like buck-toothed bandits because they had a knack for swiping tomatoes juuust before I could pick them.
The name I most often used to describe these destructive rodents was "bushy-tailed rats." Which explains why a sympathetic, empathetic reader sent me this drawing, entitled: "Bushy Tailed Rat."
While I had no interest in shooting squirrels, I certainly got some vicarious pleasure from the sinister details in the drawing. Check out what the rodent's eating.
Ahhh, how far I've come since those intolerant days in Atlanta. Now, here in Connecticut, the squirrels seem less destructive, following the code of people here in the Land of Steady Habits. They eat their acorns, have a little walkabout, admire the plants, take a nap.
Or, maybe Nutmegger squirrels in rural areas just have more space to spread out than their Southern city kin had. In any case, my anger has subsided, allowing me to not only shoot this picture, but to enjoy the squirrel's calm pleasure – just sitting on the back of the bench.
Tolerance goes only so far, however. If today that artist changed the subject from squirrel to deer or vole or mole, he'd have me laughing so loud, you could hear me all the way to Georgia.
Go to LeeMaysGardeningLife.com for more writings by Lee May.