On Finding Squirrel Eggs

startled squirrel, grey squirrel

written by Ron Cook

One cool, October morning, before Sunday School, about thirty-six-years-ago; when my little brother, James was about 8-years-old, I took him for a walk down by the hay meadow. We had just eaten breakfast and were still waiting on our sisters to get ready for church. Being bored with sitting around the house, we took off to go kill some time out in the pasture.

We got bored, so we went to kill some time out in the pasture.

Along the way, I found a gourd vine with three or four, round gourds still clinging to it. They were close enough to being ripe that they had already turned white.  It was a drought year, so they were only about as big as walnuts.  I didn’t say anything to my little brother as he went skipping along ahead of me, I just picked the gourds and put them in my shirt pocket to get them warm.  The hay meadow was about a quarter mile away, and it was only about 8:00 am, so there was still plenty of time.  I zipped up my coat and started following along behind James, looking for an old squirrel nest.

squirrel nest, squirrel nest in a tree
Squirrel nest picture by “mcclouds” on Flickr.

As we walked along, I spotted an abandoned squirrel nest way up in the top of a lone pecan tree.  It had a grapevine growing through it and since it was an old, decayed nest, it would be fairly easy for my little brother to knock down.  I told James to go give the grapevine a real hard yank to see if a squirrel might fall out.  He had to really tug on it a long time to shake the whole nest down, so all his attention was focused on the grapevine.  In the meanwhile, I had taken the gourds out of my pocket and had them ready….

James’ attention was focused on the grapevine.

When the nest finally fell out, I ran over, grabbed it up and turned my back to James, while I hurried to slip the gourds inside.  When I was done, I handed the nest to James and told him to check and see if their was still a squirrel in there. As he took the nest in his hands, I said,  “Look!”  Squirrel eggs!  I’ll bet they’re still warm!”

egg gourds, aka squirrel eggs, squirrel eggs
Egg gourds
author: Ruth Temple on Flickr.
CC license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

He reached inside to see if they were.  It was a cool autumn day, so they did feel warm, having just come from my shirt pocket.  James was very excited! I told him, “Hurry! Put those in your pocket and keep them warm and if you don’t break them, in about 3 more weeks, they’ll hatch out and you’ll have some baby squirrels.” James was 13-years-younger than I was. 

After church I forgot about it.

I was already married at the time and had moved out with my wife the summer before.  I was just there, visiting for the weekend.  By the time James and I had gotten back to the house and gone to church, I had already forgotten about the squirrel eggs, but James hadn’t. After church was over, I drove back to my own house.

guy driving a car, driving a car

Here’s another squirrel story by Ron .

About an hour later, my Dad called me on the phone.  My little brother had found a warm spot on the back of the TV set, between the rabbit ear antennas and had built a nest out of tissue paper to keep his squirrel eggs warm until they hatched.  Dad was mad.  James was messing up his reception and didn’t want to take the eggs away from the nest he had built.  He made me drive all the way back to his house to tell James his eggs were just gourds.  I thought James was gonna cry when he figured it out.

When I confessed to James, that they were not really squirrel eggs, I thought he might cry.

To this day, my family won’t let me forget it.  My daughter sent me a photo like this to remind me of how mean I was to James when he was little.

Wild Corndogs

cattail with mustard on it, fake corn dog

James is too old to fall for this one, but I’ve got grand-kids now!

 

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