Saturday, April 4, 2009

Turner learns to eat

Turner is growing, and fast. His tail has become bushier and stands up stiffly when he gets excited. Now, he's outgrowing milk too. He gives me nip on my finger now and then as if to tell me I'm hungry, but I don't want milk.

I know squirrels love fruits. There is enough evidence of that on my mango tree! I also know they love grains, nuts & cereals. Cereals?!

Now what's that name I have heard on TV about a cereal that increase your memory and make you smart? Some name with K. I'm not taking names because the manufacturer will be upset if he knew Turner ate it. (If you remembered the name you, most likely had it for breakfast today!)

To cut the long story short. I gave a CHOCOLATE flavoured cereal to Turner. One single one. At first he was skeptical. He sniffed at it, turned it around on his tiny paws, looked it over and sat back on his haunches contemplating that funny brown thing.

After a while curiosity got better of him and he picked it up lazily and took a cautious nibble. "Hmm. Not bad". That must have been the thought that went through his mind. Then he warmed to the job at hand. The thing was a little more difficult than he thought.

He gnawed at it, turned it around & gripped it more firmly and kept gnawing at it. "No Sir, this wont work. What shall I do?", Turner contemplated. This was more that he had bargained for and his teeth hurt.

He threw it aside and stuck his tongue out at it. What a silly thing? Tastes to nice but it is not my teeth's friend.

As he turned around a brilliant though struck Turner. "If I can't bite it, I can lick it, can't I? Aha! Why did I not think of it before."

Turner pulled that ugly but tasty cereal and started in earnest. "Umm! this is good".

Now I'm worried. When my son returns he'll find his favourite chocolate K supply exhausted. I'd better tell him that Turner has developed his tastes!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Turner at the Safari Park

To a city slicker my house will be a veritable zoo. Maybe, a safari park is a better word to describe it. Someone living in a highrise apartment complex would probably see a few cats, dogs, and pigeons every now and then but if they visited what I call 'home', they'd call it a zoo!

In and around my house living harmoniously together are a few cows & calves, four geese, four chickens, four dogs (our favourite, named Dizzy because he makes everyone dizzy!), and one strange duck that i call 'punk' duck (for descriptive purposes). 

Besides these domestic creatures, living in my garden and yard are myriad birds; babblers, barbets, bulbuls, coucals, cuckoos, drongos, orioles, magpies, mynas, robins, sunbirds, flowerpeckers and even a lone shikra that comes for a soak daily. 

In the pond on my yard you can see a cormorant, brahminy kites, pond herons and kingfishers both big & small. Of course, the creepy crawlies are there too; garden lizards, ratsnakes & cobras with some small ones I don't even know the names of.

Into this crowd landed Turner.

On friday last, the 27th of March, my cook who was watering the garden called out, "Etta (elder brother), there is a baby squirrel lying dead here. Perhaps a crow  got it." Thinking of giving it a decent burial, I went to inspect it. I saw a tiny creature, maybe a few day's old, curled up near a pot under my mango tree. As I picked it up, it was warm and I could feel it shiver involuntarily  in my grasp. It was alive then. No ritualistic burial but a emergency resucitation was needed.

I came inside, picked up an old shoe box, lined it with a newspaper and put the tiny creature in it. After a minute it looked up groggily as if to ask "Where am I & who are you Oh! giant." I patted it in it's tiny head and reassured it, "You are in good hands for now", and went to tell my son about his new pet.

My son was so thrilled and nearly squeezed the little creature in his excitement. I rescued it before it was squashed like a toothpaste tube and told him to carry it in the shoebox. Over the next few hours we went through an elaborate excercise of naming the new inmate of our house. First it was Stripes, then Squeeky, the Riki Tiki Tavi and finally TURNER. Why Turner, I don't know, because it's the name of a tool that appears in Disney Cartoon, but it stuck.

Turner is still very young. Drinks nothing but milk, half a cc at a time; and eats nothing. He drinks, sprays some urine and promptly falls asleep. 

We got a husked coconut pulled out some fibers mashed it into a soft mattress (coir foam?!)and put it one corner of Turner's home.

My son has gone to visit his maternal granparents for his holidays. He left me explicit instructions to feed Turner, clean out his shoebox home and walk him!
Walk him?! Turner doesn't walk. He hops, skips, jumps & runs. Mercifully he runs, not in the other direction but towards me. 

only problem is that he is so tiny that, when he plays hide and seek, I have to be careful I'm not sittting on him. 

He is so used to me, he thinks I'm his mom & dad rolled in one big giant creature. Every time I open his shoe box he stands up on his rear feet and reaches up with his fore feet, like a child asking to be carried. My little Turner.