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A Squirrel's Tale

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the second day of school this year, the children came running to me saying, "Come quick! The kindergarteners found a baby squirrel by the sandbox!" I went to the sandbox to find a little circle of children looking at a baby red squirrel, who had apparently fallen out of a tree, curled up at the edge of the sandbox. I love these children because they were all respectful enough to just look at it, and to let an adult know that it was there.

It was obvious that this baby would not be able to survive on its own, and the children were very worried about it. They were also concerned because a stray kitten was roaming the school yard, and the little squirrel was so defenseless. A couple of my responsible children offered to keep watch for the kitten, and help other children stay far enough away from the squirrel that its mother might be able to find it, while I went in to call the vet to find out what to do with the baby. Other teachers, alerted to the situation, were having children come away from the squirrel.

The vet gave me the phone number of a woman who does small animal rescue, as well as the number for the nature center. I left a message with Lynn at the small animal rescue, and called the nature center. The woman at the nature center said to keep it warm because the mother would not find the baby if its body temperature dropped. A couple of children filled a quart ziplock bag with hot water. With gloves on, I lifted the baby squirrel and the children put the improvised hot water bottle under the tree that the baby must have fallen out of and covered the bag with a dishcloth. I placed the baby on its little hot water bed, and it curled up contentedly and fell asleep.

We had an hour left of school, and a kitten roaming loose somewhere, so two children offered to do their work outside so they could watch over the squirrel from a distance while they did their work. We all hoped his mother would come for him. I wasn't too hopeful that his mother would appear during the school day, and she didn't. After school, I called the nature center back because I did not want to stay there waiting for the mom to arrive and I was concerned about predators. They suggested finding a way to suspend the baby and bed from a tree. In the trunk of my car I had a little insulated bag I used for keeping food cool coming home from the groceries store. I put a new hot water bag in the bottom of the bag, covered it with a fresh dishtowel, put the baby in it, put a nail in the tree, and suspended it as high as I possibly could.

When I got home, I got a call from Lynn at the small animal rescue. She said she didn't know why the nature center would say the mother would come to get it, it was already too big for the mother to carry if its eyes were open. She was concerned about dehydration, as was I, and said to bring it right over. So back to the school and off on an 8 mile drive to bring the baby to the small animal rescue I went. Honestly, the baby did not look good. He was very lethargic and I was afraid he would die before I got him there.

When I arrived, Lynn had a syringe filled with pedialite and a long nipple ready for him. Poor baby was almost too weak to drink, but once he did, he perked up. He grabbed onto the nipple and drank and drank!

She thought the baby would be okay, and lucky for him, she had several other baby red squirrels about his age, so he even had nest mates.

The next day, the children wrote thank you cards to Lynn, and we are hoping that we can release him back to the tree where he fell from when he is old enough to be released back to the wild.

Another tale with a happy ending.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MCGS62 12/10/2013 12:54PM

    emoticon Thats a good story. I know I'm a little late reading it but it is still a good story.

How about a release update ?
Merry Christmas Chris

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JLITT62 12/6/2013 7:51AM

    How sweet is that baby squirrel? And you? Good job!

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WATERMELLEN 11/27/2013 5:53PM

    Lovely story: such kindness.

I have a close friend who provides small animal rehab and who assisted me once when our Charlie brought baby rabbits one by one gently in his mouth from their nest to the back deck . . . They were successful rescued too.

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MEOWMAMA3 10/13/2013 8:18PM

    Hi Chris!

What a great story. I'm so glad it had a happy ending for everyone involved. I once found a nest with 2 baby squirrels on the ground in my old neighborhood. My neighbor and I took it to a nearby arboretum with a wildlife rescue center. One of them made it, one didn't. Ah that wonderful excitement bordering on panic when you find a helpless critter in distress.... I've been a sucker and magnet for critters in distress all my life. My birthday is even on St. Francis' Day, the saint of lost woodland creatures! He was a lucky one! Great experience and memory for the kids!

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/12/2013 1:59AM

    Love it! You made me happy by telling that story - thanks!

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TRAVELGRRL 9/29/2013 8:15AM

    What a wonderful lesson in caring you gave your children! You are a hero!!!

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IUHRYTR 9/23/2013 10:21PM

    Many thanks to your students and to you for caring about our animal friends, especially one as defenseless as little squirrel. emoticon -- Lou

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    Awww I want to come play at your school!

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MERRYMARY42 9/18/2013 7:31PM

    how wonderful and so great that you took the time to do this, and such a great lesson for the kids, kudos to you

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DOR2BFIT 9/18/2013 4:39PM

    Another delightful chapter in the Adventures of Pudlcrazy and Critters! emoticon emoticon emoticon (I think that might be a groundhog pic but there appear to be no squirrel emoticons- maybe next story!)

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DOR2BFIT 9/18/2013 4:38PM

    Another delightful chapter in the Adventures of Pudlcrazy and Critters! emoticon emoticon emoticon (I think that might be a groundhog pic but there appear to be no squirrel emoticons- maybe next story!)

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SAMDEAN1 9/18/2013 4:18PM

    emoticon Amazing job you and the children did for this beautiful creature. I'm sure he appreciates it :) God bless!

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PUNCHILOUIE 9/18/2013 11:29AM

    What a great act of kindness you and your children in the school did, also the lady of the animal rescue. The baby squirrel is a very lucky little guy. God Bless you all!

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OBIESMOM2 9/18/2013 11:17AM

    emoticon thank you for being so caring of all creatures! I know the kids will always remember this.

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FEMISLIM 9/18/2013 10:07AM


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OLDERDANDRT 9/18/2013 10:01AM

    Aaawwwwwww!!!! What a sweet little critter and what wonderful students you have there to have found and respected the little guy!! I am glad he rallied and hope he will be able to be released into the wild again. It's so nice you have a small animal rescuer and a nature center near by! Thanks for being you and helping this little sweetie. (((HUGS)))

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0309COOKIE 9/18/2013 9:14AM

    Aaaawww, what a nice story! That little baby squirrel is so cute! It must make you feel good that you rescued him/her.

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CBLENS 9/18/2013 7:42AM

    glad the baby squirrel is being looked after.

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INCREDIBLYME 9/18/2013 7:36AM

    ahhhh. I have a family of squirrels in my yard, the babes are cute and each have their own personality. Fortunately we haven't had a problem with abondonment

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FERRETLOVER1 9/18/2013 7:31AM

    Wow - you are a true animal lover. So glad this story had a happy ending - thanks for sharing!

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CAT609 9/18/2013 7:30AM

    What a wonderful lesson the children learned! I am so glad the squirrel survived! emoticon

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CANADIANFROG09 9/18/2013 7:26AM

    emoticon it sure is a happy ending! emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 9/18/2013 7:23AM

  Wow the exact thing happened this summer to our park. 3 baby squirrels were abandoned and after calling the correct authorities, I found out that I needed to make a holder for them and put them back in it attached to the tree. They were so cute and eventually I ended up taking the box to the wildlife shelter as the Mom didn't come back for cute!

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