Over the last few years, my wife has thrown peanuts on our back deck to feed an ever-expanding battalion of squirrels. We are hosts to a wide variety: brown. black, gray, small red squirrels, social squirrels who dine together and, starting last winter, territorial bullies. These are large, feisty guys who want all the peanuts to themselves and chase away anyone who would dare to eat one of their peanuts.
Not just a warning.
The chases are long and fast. The “chasers” are not happy with merely running a competitor off. Running off the deck, across our yard, up into the trees, across a phone line, down the pole over the back fence into our neighbor’s yard. The chase often ends with the two facing each other while the bully gives a stern warning before heading back to the deck and the peanuts it had protected.
But it doesn’t end there.
For a long time, I paid little attention to what the territorial squirrels found when they returned to their peanut territory on the deck.
They found NOTHING!
Remember the Blue Jays?
You already know the rest of this story. While the territorial squirrels where chasing the squirrels that had dropped by for a breakfast, the Jays did what was natural for them. The scouts spotted a treasure trove of peanuts, screeched an invitation to the rest of the family and they all swooped down to finish off the unprotected peanuts.
Which leads us back to the original question. In your life…are you a Squirrel or a Blue Jay?