Kindness
Pass It On

Squirrels

 

Squirrels are fuzzy tailed rodents. They are fun to watch, yes, but they are a nuisance. I have trapped & released close to 50 squirrels from our backyard in the past three years. We have at least two, probably 22, that remain. I'm the squirrel whisperer, but it is getting trickier to trap them. The birds eat their trap food before they come out late evening or early morning.

So, right now, we are living with fewer squirrels but still ...

Don't get me wrong; they are cute. I would not mind them hanging out with me if they would play nice. They don't, though, so they force me to move them. Some go crazy in the trap, some love to listen to Jesus loves me as we drive to their new home ... or final destination, depending on who is quicker, the squirrel or the cat!

The Parable of the Blind Squirrel by THOMAS W. MANY

One warm autumn afternoon, a grandfather and his grandson watched a squirrel frantically search the ground for acorns. The squirrel, obviously preparing for the long winter ahead, randomly headed in one direction or another until finding the much-sought treasure. This squirrel was very old and nearly blind, but he made up for his lack of knowing where the acorns might be with hard work and determination.

As they watched, the boy heard his grandfather exclaim, “Will you look at that . . . even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.” When asked to explain, the grandfather said that the old expression means that if you work hard enough and are persistent, good things will happen. As the story goes, every once in a while, something good would happen, and the blind squirrel would stumble upon an acorn.

At times, I have felt like the blind squirrel when guiding school improvement efforts. Our teachers and principals are dedicated and determined to make a difference, and they work hard to help students learn. As a staff, we were doing all the right things, but performance levels sometimes were uneven from grade to grade, and sometimes, when we were not sure why we were successful.

Like many school districts across the country, we were living the parable of the blind squirrel. We needed to find ways to work smarter, not harder.

 

The Lazy Little Squirrels Who Refused

Stanley squirrel was enjoying his first summer. He had learned to leap from tree to tree using the spring of the branch to launch himself to his next target.  The feeling of exhilaration as he flew through the air was liberating. All the first year squirrels liked to play together, chasing butterflies, splashing through the shallow creek, and sunning themselves in the warm summer sunshine. The older squirrels cautioned the newlings, ” play is fine, but as squirrels, we all must spend our time gathering acorns and other nuts for the cold winter when food becomes scarce.  If we don’t work together, we will all go hungry.” Stanley, being somewhat stubborn and simple-minded, rebelled against the elders. ” I live to play,” He said.  ” I don’t know what winter cold is, but I’m sure it can wait a few more days.  After all, we are young and healthy, and the food is very plentiful…Why worry?” Stanley and his siblings resumed their play, pretending not to hear his mother's screech of anger. Summer passed quickly, and the early fall brought cooler nights, but the days were warm, and the sun shone with brilliant clarity. Stanley continued to ignore the admonishment of the adults, playing and sleeping instead of gathering nuts for the winter. One by one, all of his playmates left to join the rest of the squirrels in preparation for the coming season. Finally, it was only Stanley, and his special friend, bushy-tailed, Stephanie. ” Look at all those fraidy-squirrels, running to gather nuts,” said Stanley.” We squirrels take care of each other. If we need food, the others will share their wealth; meanwhile, we can play.” Stephanie flicked her tail in his face and sprang away, with Stanley in hot pursuit. Time passed, and late Fall turned into early Winter.  The first snowfall of the season hit the forest. Everything was covered with a thin white blanket, and the crystals shone brightly in the morning sun. Stanley and Stephanie sat on a bare branch of their favorite Oaktree. ” The others are still looking for food,” said Stephanie, her black eyes wide with alarm. “Don’t worry,” said Stanley,” we will look for food tomorrow. In the meantime, the others will share their wealth with us  if we need it.” “Tag, you’re it!” he shouted,  and sprang from the branch, sending a shower of snow to the ground below. A few days later, Winter set in with a vengeance. The snow fell for two days, and the winds blew huge drifts against the trunks of the trees.” I’m hungry,” whined, Stephanie.” All the nuts and berries are gone. What will we eat.”  Stanley looked around.” Yes, I’m hungry too. Let's go ask the others to share their wealth.” They scampered off and went to see the Top Squirrel and the other elders.” Can we please have something to eat.” They asked in unison.” We are hungry, and there is no food to be found in the forest.” The Top Squirrel looked at them sadly, and shook his head.” We have been working all summer and all fall to gather enough food to keep us alive during the long cold winter.” He stamped his front paw.” That’s what squirrels do. We work as a community to provide the food to keep us alive. Everyone must contribute, or we all die.” Stanley hung his head.” We didn’t know..” His dark eyes opened wide.” I always thought we were part of a community of squirrels. All for one and one for all. From each, according to his means to each according to his needs. Share and share-alike. We should be taken care of by the Community of Squirrels.” The Top Squirrel shook his head. His eyes blazed with anger.” By ignoring our warnings, and playing instead of working, you have jeopardized our community. Everyone must work together for all to survive. I’m sorry. You and Stephanie must find your own food. We have only enough to feed those who helped gather the food. If we feed you, we all starve. ” Moral, join in working together for the common good or starve!

 

Squirrel poem

 

All of this to say how much I cherish this beautiful squirrel gift from a very dear friend!!! 

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The Lord blesses me and keeps me. The Lord's face shines upon me and is gracious to me. The Lord looks at me and gives me peace. Numbers 6:24-26

 

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