Apparently she is living with two of my favorites -- Teddy Bear and Mr. Operator. Teddy Bear was so named because when he was little he looked like Pooh Bear in Now We Are Six. He is brown, with a mask of blond hair across his face, which makes him look less like a squirrel and more like a stuffed animal. He hung out with two little pink and gray striped squirrels named Sissy and Pinky and the three of them looked like something out of a nursery rhyme. The pink was due to mange, so my job was to feed them and get rid of the pink. But they sure looked cute.
Tubby, meet Teddy!
But Teddy Bear was always morose and I thought he was lonely, being the only brown squirrel in the area. I asked my friend Bernie to catch him in the net and bring him over to Tubby's area on the other end of the park, but Bernie didn't think it was such a good idea. Well, Teddy eventually migrated back there himself and when I saw him over there I immediately brought him over to meet Tubby.
Well it was quite the meeting. Teddy immediately pounced on Tubby! Strangely, the territorial Tubby did not react, or seem to mind being jumped by Teddy. But then Teddy ran far. far away. However I eventually found him back there, and there he lives, happily ever after.
The other one is Mr. Operator, so-named because he is such an operator. He'd never let other squirrels get near me, circling around me, grabbing the nut, and jumping on the hapless squirrel who dared approach me. Then he'd quickly bury the nut in a shallow grave close by, and run back to protect his turf and grab another nut. It was a regular racket. He managed to intimidate the other squirrels with his feints.
I got so mad at him that I asked Bernie to catch him in the net and give him a good scare. He looked so funny trying to extricate himself from that net, with all the other squirrels watching! After that the shamed squirrel stayed away for a long time, but eventually he came back and resumed his shenanigans.
It was then that I finally relized that I'd misjudged him. I was judging him as a small child, not as a squirrel. As a squirrel he was absolutely brilliant! He was a real entrepreneur and he had his own little business going, accumulating inventory.
Thereafter he was on my soft side. He was still a bully, but I remember once when a flock of red-tailed hawks showed up and all the other squirrels hid in the trees, he remained exposed at the base of the tree and started crying loudly! Not good, as this was draw attention to him. I couldn't make him run away, but I was able to quiet him down by feeding him cashews and walnuts -- one nut after another. Bully turned baby! Or was this just a ruse? Another money-making scheme of his?
Didn't see much of Mr. O. all summer, so I'm glad to see that he's good, and hanging out with Miss Tubby. Couldn't ask for better company. He has one bad eye so it's always easy to recognize him, apart from his behavior.