We have a large Maple tree in our back garden, which is a huge asset on hot days due to the shade it provides. Remember … it is a Maple tree!
The other afternoon Ray was stretched out on the grass in the shade, and perturbed squirrel voices were coming from high up in the Maple tree. Remember … it is a Maple tree!
Ray is typical of many dogs in that, while he is seemingly fast asleep, his survival and predatory instincts are very much alert. One of the squirrels decided to come down the tree. Perhaps he/she thought that Ray was partially deaf, or perhaps they simply had some other business to attend to? As expected, Ray awoke very fast and charged after it but, fortunately for the squirrel, Ray has no tree climbing abilities whatsoever and so the squirrel scurried up the tree trunk and once again started “swearing” (that’s what it sounded like) at Ray. We were sitting at our “picnic table” watching the events unfold.
Just imagine a squirrel high up on a branch totally out of sight due to foliage, seemingly swearing away at Ray, while Ray was now curled up on the grass under the Maple tree. Remember … it is a Maple tree!
As we were chatting and looking in the general direction of Ray, we both saw something fall down, and heard a sharp impact sound as it landed on the grass really close to Ray (who did not move). Our curiosity get the better of us and we had to investigate! It was an acorn … from a Maple tree!
We had to ponder what happened, and the only conclusions we could come to were either the squirrel was a klutz and dropped it, or it was trying to hit Ray with it. The latter did seem a bit of a stretch of the imagination because it assumes the ability of a squirrel to rationalize the situation and plan accordingly, but why not? They are extremely capable of surviving in a complex environment, and other wild creatures are capable of strategizing (i.e. pack hunting, feigning an injury) so that was our final conclusion. We have a squirrel in our back garden that is capable using Ray (and probably us) as target practice!