It’s Squirrel’s birthday today and I’m celebrating with a photo essay.
No cups, bowls, or tubs for Squirrel this birthday. In fact, I wonder if the number of vessels in our house contributes in some way to this behaviour.
So I’m getting rid of the baskets, the bowls, the cups and the tubs – one or two at a time, in the recycling bin, or to the thrift shop, until my Squirrel will be left with only two alternatives – the garbage can or the counter tops.
And, in addition to sorting through his stashes (hopefully for the last time), I’m giving him the gift of understanding this birthday.
I finally found a biological theory of hoarding that just might explain Squirrel’s – well, squirreling.
In this article in Discover Magazine, Tom Waite, a biologist at Ohio State University in Columbus offers an example of hoarding in the natural world:
Hoarding may also function as a mating strategy. Male black wheatears, avian residents of dry and rocky regions of Eurasia and Africa, spend considerable time and energy piling up heavy stones before mating season. Those with the largest piles are more likely to mate. “It’s called resource-holding potential, and it’s a way of advertising to a mate your true Darwinian fitness,” Waite says.
Baby, I want you to know you don’t have to impress me like this anymore. You’ll always have the largest pile in my eyes. Could we unclutter it, just a little?
What I tossed today: Isn’t it obvious? Two rocks, a toy ring, Snerdles?, two spiders, one piece of play doh, seventeen used screws, tooth floss, CD’s, gum wrappers, little bits of plastic and anything else Squirrel “bowled” in the past 4 years.