Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A little squirrel nest, and gratitude

A long time ago I lived in the country in Missouri. It was an old log house and there were several old sheds scattered around the property that were in different stages of falling down. It was probably 30 or so years ago, and there was a burn barrel in the back of the house for burning trash. There was stuff that fell out of the barrel, or perhaps some ones aim had not hit the mark with every thing. Little thread scraps from my crafts, an occasional chicken bone, and I would rake it up with the leaves and sticks from the yard, and in the barrel it went.

I like to explore so I couldn't resist one summer day to explore those old sheds.  In the first shed, as I opened the door, a small screech owl let out a loud protest at being woke up and flew past my shoulder. I nearly wet my pants. But after a couple moments of catching my breath I went on in and poked about. The next had signs that some rats had moved in. I did not do a lot of poking about in that one. My husband set traps when he got home.  He also cleaned out the big hornets nest that sent me running back to the house. I opened the door, saw the nest and the wasps, shut the door and ran. None chased me, but I didn't stay long enough for them to think about it.

The last shed had a couple old dressers, warped and some of the fronts of the drawers were dangling down. A couple of the drawers were nothing more than 2 x 4 boards that had been nailed together and shoved in the drawer places. Maybe used to store tools a long time ago.

But there, dangling at the edge of one drawer, a brightly color thread caught my eye.

I had seen a little ground squirrel around the yard, and near the burn barrel on a regular basis.  In this old dresser was it's house. I was amazed. And remain amazed to this day at it's nest.  I gently opened each drawer one at a time and peeked.  In the 4 drawers of that old rotting dresser, it had built a 4 story mansion. Each of the 4 drawers were full of little sticks, dried grass, and dried leaves. And there were 4 to 5 small circular rooms in each drawer among the sticks with little tunnel like hallways between the rooms. And each room was decorated around the edges with little scraps of my stitching threads. Those little left over bits of embroidery floss that I had thrown away.  Some chicken bones tucked here and there, and an occasional pork chop bone. A couple nice size piles of the flip top tabs from soda cans.  And a pantry room with pop corn, water mellon seeds and what looked like some wild seeds it had gathered,  some dog food it had managed to swipe when the dog wasn't looking, and a 2 inch ball of  cooked pinto beans.  I had tossed out some beans a couple days before and it had smooshed some together into a ball and carried it to it's home.

It used all the same stuff I did decorating it's home. I felt a sort of kinship with it. I have needle work hung on my walls in wooden frames, and it had it's threads woven and tucked around the sticks. Still, it's threads and sticks. The bones in my fridge have more meat on them. Still, it's bones. And I also store popcorn and beans and seeds.

I always see my house a little differently after that. And  remember to thank God for my little threads and sticks and bones.

I left a slice of apple on top of the dresser for disturbing it's home. Made sure everything was just as I found it, and shut the shed back up and didn't let anyone disturb it.

Thanks for dropping by.
Smiles to you.

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