EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: A Tail about Lost Nuts

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Tail about Lost Nuts

A Tail about Lost Nuts
by Jennifer of JenniferLynnProducts

What's not to appreciate about squirrels? They are cute, resourceful, and always busy. They are little go-getters, always finding solutions to their everyday problems.

I love to watch them, as do my cats. Seeing them running around when I go out for walks is always a treat, even though they are ubiquitous where I live and always have been. They're just so much fun to watch! Here's an example:

I'll tell you who doesn't appreciate squirrels—or, at least he didn't for a while last year: My boyfriend. After an incident in the fall of 2009, I was sure our household was on the brink of an all-out war with our little neighbors.

For a while now, he and I have been learning to forage. We have a friend, a botanist, who knows a lot about wild, edible foods and how to find, harvest, and prepare them. My boyfriend has also done his fair share of research. Though we live in the suburbs and currently each have a steady income, we want to be prepared for leaner times, and we also both would prefer to live a little more in harmony with the natural world.

That particular summer, my boyfriend decided to gather walnuts. For those who don't know, harvesting walnuts is not as simple as collecting them, drying them out, and eating them. You have to get the rind off. Then, you have to soak them until they are clean. Not only will the juice stain everything—everything!--black, it's also very bitter-tasting and not good to ingest it. They are also extremely hard to crack open. Our friend lent us a special cracker just for walnuts.

My boyfriend spent weeks soaking them, stirring them up, rinsing them off, and repeating this process. Finally satisfied that the nuts were clean enough, he put them in a milk crate in a secluded section of our yard to cure. Mind you, the crate was not covered. It was hidden, but apparently not well enough.

I got a very angry IM from my boyfriend one afternoon while I was at work. It started with the words, “$@!!!S#@QQ??! squirrels!” I asked him what was up, and he told me that he'd gone out to get the nuts so we could start cracking them open and toast some of them, and there weren't any left. Well, I had to giggle. I had to giggle even harder when he told me later, “You know, I thought it was odd when I went out for my run and saw a single walnut sitting in the parking lot near our yard, but it just didn't dawn on me...” We don't have walnut trees in our complex. He got them from the woods a couple of blocks away from our home.

It's really not that funny (OK, yes it is,) as I know how very hard my boyfriend worked on getting those nuts ready for us to enjoy over the winter. I wasn't around to help out, because I work during the day. He works out of our home, so he can set his own hours and focus on other things. Imagine if that had been our only food or part of a very limited supply of food for us for the winter. Yeah. That's harsh.

So, while we didn't particularly appreciate squirrels for a while there, I definitely respect their resourcefulness and even ingenuity. I respect it so much that we, on the one hand, have not collected any nuts this year, and on the other hand, we now cover the milk crate in question !


Team EFA is having a Squirrel Festival this week !!!
Check out the Squirrel Treasury HERE
and... tune in tomorrow for
Squirrel Appreciation Day !


  1. I'm glad you could use my story, and thanks for including a link to my print!

    I hope that people will enjoy this post. It really was an amusing situation.

  2. Ha ha - what a funny story! & I love the squirrel vid too. Thanks for featuring my Squirrel T-shirt here ;-) Jx

  3. That did make me smile. They are resourceful little creatures and very intelligent! I admire your foresight too, preparing for tough times.

  4. What a great post! I loved reading this!

  5. What a funny story! Well...now anyway. Yeah...I would be a bit upset, too! Better to have learned that lesson while it wasn't life threatening!

  6. ...And I stand corrected. We DO have nuts this year. They are COVERED this time! ;)

  7. What a great video and story. Some squirrel must have been very happy!


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