Gourmet Squirrels

A few years ago, before I “put in” my garden beds, I decided to grow a small herb container garden.  I bought a large plastic pot (I even sprang for the matching saucer!) and filled it with dirt and plants.  I planted lemon thyme, cheddar pinks, and a sad looking little basil plant I bought in the produce section of my grocery store.

As the plants grew, I introduced my young daughters to the joys of plucking a fresh herb leaf, crushing it between fingers, and taking a big whiff.  They loved it!  I like to imagine that helped them learn to enjoy their senses and live in the moment.

When the basil was getting nice and lush and tall, I went out one day to find one of the tops of the stalks snapped off.  I looked around for the top, assuming that one of the girls had pulled it off to sniff and just tossed it to the ground after, as we usually did.  But it was nowhere to be found.  Oh well, no biggie.  They must have carried it arouBedford a bit before dropping it.

The next day, more leaves are stripped off.  A couple of naked twigs struck up from the mass of leaves.  I gave the girls a gentle lecture about only taking a leaf or two to sniff.  They nodded and agreed, looking a little confused.

A few days later, I walked out to see the plants stripped absolutely bare.  Not a single leaf was left, just several pathetic twigs sticking up from the dirt.  For some reason, I didn’t say anything to the kids, but mentioned it to Hubs that evening.

“Squirrels” was his reply.  He told me that he had seen a squirrel messing around in the pit several days previous, eating some leaves. But he had assumed that the squirrel would lose interest after a mouthful of the spicy, pungent plants.  Well, apparently not.  I assume the stuffed their greedy cheeks full of my prized basil, scampered back to their little squirrel nests and made walnut pesto from the black walnuts the gathered in our yard.  Seriously?  Gourmet squirrels.

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