Since most of us will have our blood diverted from our brain to our stomach today, don’t expect substantive or thought-provoking posts. Here, instead, is a heartwarmer to precede the inevitable heartburn.
Several readers sent me links to this strange but happy story, posted in many places (these picture come from Slightly Viral).
It apparently began in February of this year when a Florida man opened a bag of mulch—organic material laid over the soil to fertilize plants, keep down weeds, and conserve moisture. But this bag of mulch, which looks like it contained wood bits, also contained a baby squirrel. As the site reports:
The baby squirrel appeared to be only days old when he found it. It was so young, [the man] initially mistook it for a mouse or rat. But he decided to take care of it, and lucky for us, document his its development.
With a voracious appetite (I can vouch for that in young squirrels), it grew quickly (is that a cookie?):
Now it’s mature, and the man named it “Zip”:
I don’t know how it got into a bag of mulch (presumably it fell from a tree, or its mother sequestered it in a mulch factory), but we can give thanks that a kind-hearted man decided to invest a big effort into rearing what some people would see as an annoying rodent. I can’t help but think that animals like squirrels do value their own lives (they’re evolved to), and we should respect that.
I don’t have any information on Zip’s current state, though some people would try to return such an animal to the wild. Squirrels don’t make the best of pets—they have to be kept in cages much of the time or they’ll chew up your house—but at least Zip got a chance.
In honor of Zip, I’ve given my own (outdoor) squirrels an extra ration of hazelnuts and almonds today, along with fresh water and unsalted sunflower seeds. Winter is coming, and they’ll need food.