Dancing with Squirrels

So, I was walking along this dried up swamp’s boardwalk in Florida when I saw this squirrel scampering along the ground. He didn’t seem to notice me at first, so I decided to see how close I could get to him. He jumped onto a nearby tree & started running in circles around it. At this point I could tell his ears were pointed in my direction, so he was aware of my presence. He’d move one way & I’d follow, but unlike other squirrel encounters- I’d move the opposite direction & he’d move to find me. We were dancing. Finally I got within five feet of him when he realized he must have gotten spooked by me. Instead of running up the tree like a normal squirrel, he jumped in a crack in the tree- the crack was a rotted out portion that seemed to go up and down the middle of the tree. I stood there & watched his little squirrel butt disappear into the tree. I could tell the only way out was back out the hole he went in, so I just stood there & waited. It was difficult not to laugh as I listened to him trying to turn around at the bottom of the tree. I got my camera ready & waited for him to emerge. He did.

He looked a little embarrassed & we stared at each other for a minute or so, then he jumped out of the hole & scurried up the tree to his other squirrel buddies. I’ve never felt so connected to nature before. For me, it felt a bit like what I imagine heaven to be like someday. I look forward to the next time I can dance with a squirrel.

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