Monday, April 14, 2008
Look! I found the keyboard! Sister Nicholas has rearranged the entire house. Unfortunately, her mind doesn't work the way most people's mind's work, organizationally speaking. I have a feeling that by next week, she will have re-rearranged everything again, so I haven't really bothered to try to figure out where everything is. I did hide my toothbrush.
I have a question for you, dear readers. Why do squirrels hide nuts? They never find them again. I know this to be the case. Our neighbor was feeding a little squirrel peanuts in the shells and this squirrel took most of the nuts and buried them in our flower pots (making a terrible mess). He never came back for his nuts. Neither did the neighbor.
For a long time my mother was feeding the squirrels. Her squirrels randomly dug up her surprise lily bulbs and reburied them willy nilly in the neighbor's yard. Now the neighbor's have beautiful surprise lilies and my mother does not.
I understand how nature works. I get that by burying nuts and seeds the squirrels may be propagating various plants.
But that isn't quite how nature works. It doesn't work that way if there is nothing in it for the squirrel.
Take my worm farm. (Please!) The worms eat leaves and garbage and leave behind....really great fertilizer. If I didn't have them contained in my little fertilizer work camp, they would be doing the same thing in the ground and they would be aerating the soil to boot. The fact that worms have to live the way they do is good for everyone, including the worms.
But these squirrels never ever find their nuts again. Not ever. There has to be something in it for the squirrel for the squirrel to be doing it. Squirrels aren't going around thinking, "HA! That Dorothy is a surprise lily hog! We'll just see about that! This neighbor yard here is ghastly looking. Let's take Dorothy's surprise lilies over there." Or, "These stupid nuns only plant petunias. Don't they realize there needs to be more peanut plants in the world?"
No. The squirrels, I think, are squirreling away their nuts for future consumption and they never ever remember where they buried a single one. Not one. Not ever.
So my question is: Why do squirrels bury nuts? Or more specifically, what's in it for them?
This has been bothering me for quite some time.
I don't know what made me think to ask about it now.