Frosty the Squirrel

Deaf, blind and nearly hairless, Frosty and FD bond.

Three years ago in February, Mother Nature dropped a helpless, baby squirrel into the path of my husband, who was out of town, 4 hours away from home.  He called saying he’d found a cold, nearly-dead squirrel while out on a call, and I knew he was going to ask if he could bring it home.  My husband, the animal whisperer, has had many encounters helping wildlife.  This was only another adventure for him.  One he admits to hoping for most of his life… raising a squirrel.  FD named him Frosty.  For the very tip of his tail was frostbitten.  The tip fell off after a couple of weeks, leaving him with a funny blunt end to his fuzzy tail.

FD feeding a hungry 3 week old.

I got online immediately and researched what we needed to do.  Finding appropriate syringes was a problem, and mixing the Esbilac formula with just a bit of cream became a daily chore.  Every 4 hours or less we fed him, helped him potty (rubbing a tissue gently on genitals to help mimic a mother licking), and cleaned his  shoe box.

Open eyes, ears sticking out, and lots of slick hair!

In no time at all he was demanding more milk and spending more time awake. FD often carried him around on his body.

Frosty supervising Daddy making formula.

Frosty had a particular liking for human hair.  He especially loved hiding behind my long tresses. And, he had no clue how razor-sharp his claws could be.  We looked like we had been in a fight in the bramble patch most of the time!  One client at the accounting firm I worked at commented, “Look at those arms!  Now THAT is a hard-working farm girl!”  I hated to tell him the truth.  It just doesn’t seem too impressive to tell people you hang with a squirrel!

Frosty’s new digs!

Eventually Frosty moved to a wire cage.  FD fashioned a hole in a cardboard box and filled it with batting.  Frosty had a “gorilla” toy that was his, uh, girlfriend I guess.  He pulled her IN the house every night and pulled her back out in the morning.

Smorgasbord of delight!

During the days, we’d take him out and feed him outside of the cage and let him climb around on the back porch, acclimating him to unprotected life.  He rebelled the cage more and more.  Soon it was apparent, he was ready to venture out.

The finest cedar tree house in all the land!

And so, Daddy built a house of the finest wood, with a tree limb post entry and a sitting stoop.  Still safe on the back porch but free to venture into the woods whenever he wanted… which is exactly what he did most of the day.  We could call and he would come running, carefully, from tree to tree, always alert of danger.

It’s funny how instinctively they know when it’s time to go.  He came back to Daddy to finger wrestle, eat those pecans that only Daddy seemed to have hidden in a pocket, or when he heard us yelling his name, when we thought he “forgot” to come home just before dark.  There was no reason to stay…  we knew he was bound for the woods.  And so it was on Mother’s Day, 2008 that we last saw him scampering off to the northwest.  My heart was broken, but my boy was free. For the next 3 years we wondered, hoped and prayed.  A large percentage of squirrels never make it past the first year. Predators and disease are the biggest threat.  But then… he returned.  This winter was a hard one weather-wise.  And so the prodigal son made an appearance.  But that’s another post…

Dreaming of the woods… or a girl?

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


15 thoughts on “Frosty the Squirrel

  1. How did you know it was Frosty? There was a red squirrel on my farm when I was little, used to feed him nuts and sunflower seeds on the rail of the deck. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting! There were a few clues that first caused me to wonder if it was Frosty. The first time I saw him on the porch he was looking up the post where his fancy squirrel house USED to be. He seemed confused. Then I saw him frequenting the tree he lived in as a juvenile, just south of our house about 100 feet. If I called out his name he’d freeze and stare. Soon I got into the habit of setting out sunflower seeds and pecans and called his name as I set the tray down. He’d come running. However we knew it was him the first time we got a close-up look at the tip of his tail. The frost bite on the tip had caused the end to fall off, leaving him with a blunt, chopped off looking tail. It was definitely Frosty… funny tail tip and all!

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  2. I envy your way with words. I’m enjoying reading your first post and making my way through all the rest. Not only can you tell a story but it’s accompanied by excellent photos. Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thank you so much! As you know, in the wild it’s more about luck and being at the right place at the right time. Everything I shoot is on auto focus mainly because wildlife doesn’t pose… you get what you can in the moment! So much of what takes place on our little 10 acres is a delight to me. I quit work about 3 years ago and honestly, I work harder here than I worked any paying job. I love life in Oklahoma (came from Nebraska 20 some years ago). I think your part of the state is breathtakingly beautiful.

      I’m following your blog and I hope to find more time to read about your adventures. I like that there are photos of YOU in your blog. That’s a problem for me. I’m rarely IN the photos… always behind the camera. Anyway, thanks for the compliments. I look forward to reading your blog!

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      1. Well the photos of me is a recent experiment of using a tripod and using time delay on my shots. 99 percent of the time I’m hiking or biking alone so I got tired of never being in any of my pictures. I take tons of pictures with my point and shoot and then just hope I get a few that are decent.

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        1. You are doing a great job with the self-photos. Keep it up… it really adds to the story. It gives the reader an opportunity to walk with YOU through the woods, along the paths. Seeing you hack your way through the brush and brambles almost gives the reader the FEELING of exhaustion and effort, making progress in cutting that hiking path. Great photos!

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    1. Thank you Mark, for such a kind comment! We sure love what we do here… and just as you do with your beautiful and intriguing photography – we all have something to share!

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    1. There are several posts… he was such a ham! We believe he lives down the road at the neighbor’s! We’ve seen a white-tip tailed squirrel down that way, and wonder if it’s Frosty!

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