How to Feed a Squirrel

6 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


After moving to Florida, one of our favorite family pastimes was camping.  We started with a small four-person tent and over the years upgraded several times ending up with a very nice pop-up tent camper.  We especially enjoyed the many Florida natural spring camping areas.  The flora, fauna and wildlife was truly a wonderful learning experience for our whole family.


On one occasion, after a morning of swimming and playing, my wife headed off to the bathhouse for a shower.  On the way back to the camper, she noticed that a squirrel was following her.  She thought that was so cute and kept encouraging it to follow her.  Well, it didn’t need much encouraging, and followed her all the way back to our camper where I was shelling and eating some salted peanuts.  As you might know, my activity immediately got the squirrel’s attention and I was instantly it’s friend.  I threw a peanut on the ground out in front of me to see what it would do.  It snapped up the peanut and had it shelled and eaten in no time.  I held another peanut to see how close it would come and then dropped it close to my feet.  It didn’t take it long to come right up to me for the next treat.  So, I decided to see if it would take a peanut from my hand.  I held one between my fingers and held it out.  the squirrel came right up to me, stood up on it’s back legs, put one front paw on each of my fingers, I thought to steady the procedure, and calmly bit one of my fingers.  I couldn’t believe it!  Here that squirrel was biting the hand that was feeding it.  What kind of gratitude was that?  You can be sure that squirrel didn’t get any more of my salted peanuts.

I’ve recently learned that scrub jays like to take peanuts out of your hand. Maybe I’ll try that next time and see what happens.



One Response to “How to Feed a Squirrel”

  1. Linda Lewis September 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    I guess the compliment ‘looking good enough to eat’ doesn’t give comfort in this case. Sorry you were bitten, Bill, but what an experience!


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