We usually had some package of nuts to strew about the back porch for Chester. Why we named the fattest of the fox squirrels Chester, which to my mind is reminiscent of a floppy-eared dog, is beyond me. There was a whole crew of climbers who were unbelievably resourceful in poaching the contents of the bird feeder before dinner.
As I grew older, I slowly stopped noticing the squirrels. Sure, I noticed the chipmunks at the Grand Canyon, and the campgrounds, but that's because they were always so cute with those black eyes and the stripe down their back. When I went to Germany, for a time, I noticed them again. They were no longer that muted brown I had come to expect as the only acceptable dye-job for squirrels. These punks had red hair. And they weren't quite as long or fat as the American squirrels. Today I noticed these East Coast squirrels. They are like those pieces of wood that are faded to a gray by the sun on the top, but still show that living red-brown underneath. Except the squirrels scamper. The wood does not.