Early in the morning during the summer you can usually find me sitting in my backyard on the patio having my coffee and doing my devotions, listening to KTIS Radio and spending time with God. This summer I have a squirrel friend that has joined me. It has become really remarkable. This squirrel, has become like a pet to me. He now trusts me and comes and sits next to me. He likes to play. It’s been really fun.

My backyard is unique, I am next to highway 40 and my neighbors across the alley are businesses. My neighbor on the corner is my sister and brother in law. I like my backyard, it looks nice and early in the morning it is fairly quiet. My view is Fisher Furniture, All About Inflatables and Cargill. I enjoy looking at Cargill’s silos when the early morning sun is on them. I also can see who is driving or walking down highway 40. Sometimes people who are out for their morning walk will wave and say “Good morning Paul” as they walk past. In the evening, the large trees give me shade over my patio. I do a fair amount of grilling during the summer. It is my favorite place to just sit and relax.

Every morning my squirrel friend shows up. Early in the summer, he would keep his distance and see what I was up to. I enjoyed watching him climb the trees and jump from tree to tree. I have a tree branch that is right over my head and day after day he would get on the branch and inch closer to the end of it and see how close he could get to me. Once in a while he would run on the ground around me. Then one morning he surprised me and jumped up on a patio chair next to me. He would look at me for a few seconds then jump down. I found it interesting that day after day he would stay on that chair longer and longer.

One morning I was looking in the tree above me for him. I could hear him squeaking but couldn’t see him. Then out of nowhere he leaped from my garage roof over my head onto the branch above my head and scared the crap out of me. He sat on the branch and looked down making grunting squirrel sounds. It was like he was laughing at me because he scared me. That is when I started talking to him. I know that is weird isn’t it? I said “You think that is funny..huh” I realized then that this squirrel and I were building a relationship. It’s like I have a pet dog! It was the very next morning that he came up from behind me slowly and sat right at my feet. I could have reached out and touched him. I did reach out my hand slowly, but had nothing to give him to eat. I thought to myself, this is getting crazy.

The most amazing moment with my squirrel was just last week. I am usually sitting outside on my patio anywhere from 6 to 6:30 am. This was on a Saturday morning and I slept in until about 7:30. I got out of bed and walked to the back door. I opened the door to see what the weather was like. Guess who was sitting outside my back door on the sidewalk waiting for me? Yep, you guessed it. He was waiting for me to come out and play. I opened the door and stepped outside and he didn’t run away, instead he ran around in small circles, squealing and jumping up and down just like a dog would do. I said “Did you miss me?” He stood on his hind legs and stared at me. I was just in shock how he was reacting to me. God’s creations are something.

Last night, my grandson Zane and I were outside making a video on the patio. There he was on my garage roof looking down at us. We waited for him to jump off the roof onto the tree next to us, but he never did, he must have been upset with me, because I was playing with Zane and not him. I just realized I haven’t named him yet. I need to name him! Would you help me out with naming him? Give me some suggestions. It’s been a tough summer with this COVID, politics and all, but this squirrel has put a smile on my face.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad


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