Wildlife Watching or “The Tale of the Squirrel and the Crow”
I was in St. James’s park, taking photos of squirrels (as usual) when I witnessed a funny little interaction happening. I decided to narrate it in the style of a children’s story, just for fun!
The Tale of the Squirrel and the Crow
There once was a squirrel called Harold.
Harold, like most squirrels, was a hoarder. He lived in St. James’s park in London with his wife, Hilda.
Hilda was expecting some baby squirrels and it was almost winter so Harold needed to spend a lot of time collecting enough food to last them through the long, cold months.
Lots of tourists visited St. James’s Park, and gave the squirrels who lived there nuts and other food. But you could never know how deep the snow might get. Harold knew not to rely just on the people for food. He needed to set aside food for his family.
So Harold made little caches in the ground to store food in. He could always remember where he had buried the walnuts and other treats, and he could breathe easier knowing there would be food waiting for his family.
Unfortunately for Harold, there was also a clever crow living in St. James’s Park. The other crows called him Crafty Clyde because he was clever, and conniving, and crafty.
The tourists never gave him food! They only ever gave it to those fat squirrels. But luckily the squirrels often buried their food for later. If Clyde was quiet, and quick, he could find their stores and feed himself without needing to do any work!
So Clyde watched and waited, and he saw where Harold was burying the food caches.
Harold tried to be sneaky, he knew Clyde was watching, but he had so much to do; Christmas shopping, and pre-natal classes as well as food-collecting and hoarding. He couldn’t always be around to protect his hoard from Clyde. But he tried…
He stood guard. But eventually he had to leave. His wife was going into labour! He rushed off to join her, and Clyde saw his chance and swooped!
He was having a lovely feast! Serves that squirrel right for not sharing, or bothering to protect the food.
Meanwhile, Hilda had given birth to three little baby squirrels! Harold was overjoyed! He was a dad! He felt full of joy and energy and power! He charged through the park, jumping from tree to tree in his elation!
From up there he caught a glimpse of that thieving crow Clyde, feasting on his hard-won supplies!
Harold charged to defend the food that he needed for his family…
Faster than a speeding bullet, he shot across the park and leaped at the startled Clyde!
Clyde had never experienced so much aggression from such a small creature! He decided it would be wisest to stay away from the clearly deranged Harold. He would watch for a less testy squirrel to steal from next time.
And Harold still had plenty of food to feed his family during the winter.
Like the doting husband and father he was, he took a walnut to Hilda to celebrate. She needed it after all those kids!
I'm a freelance writer and ex English teacher from Australia currently living in the Netherlands with my Dutch fiancé and our four weird cats. After living in Tasmania and Western Australia I spent a year in London where this blog began. I try to travel around Europe (and the world!) as often as I can, while blogging about the things I do, the sights I see and what it's like to live and work as an expat Aussie in the Netherlands.