A FAMILY OF SQUIRRELS
WE have a pet called Bobby, and we love him very much. He
is a little squirrel, living among the beech trees of
We see him every morning leaping from branch to branch,
with his long furry tail stretched out behind.
Sometimes he leaps right down on to the ground and runs
about picking up beech nuts.
Sometimes he sits bolt upright on a branch, with a nut
or acorn in his paws. Then his tail is bent up against
We have known him for two years, and when we whistle to
him he comes to us. But if anything frightens him he
darts away to the nearest tree. He climbs up in a
moment with his sharp claws, and peeps back through the
green leaves. We see his bright black eyes looking down
His back is covered with a brown red fur, but under his
body the fur is white. His lovely red tail is like a
brush on his back. His hind
 legs are long. That is why he can jump so well. On his
front paws one toe stands out from the others, almost
like our thumb. He uses his paws like hands, when he
sits up with a nut in them, and peels off the brown
skin with his teeth.
Sometimes he steals birds' eggs. Then he holds the egg
in his paws, cracks the top, and sucks out the yolk.
He has such funny ears! They have long tufts of hair
behind them. He sometimes comes out of his hole in
winter to eat, and we see that the tufts are much
longer then than in summer.
But for most of the winter we never see him. He is fast
asleep in a hole in a tree. We know where his hole is,
for Peter found it once. He had seen Bobby come down
one mild day to feed on his store of acorns, buried at
the foot of the tree, and he watched him as he went
back. Then he climbed up the tree, and in a hole in the
trunk he saw Bobby's bushy tail curled round. So he
knew that Bobby was snug and cosy in the hole.
Bobby has a little wife, and they always keep near each
other. But she is very shy, and will not come to us. In
the spring, when there are no nuts, they eat the buds
of the trees.
About May they are very busy. They gather leaves, and
moss, and twigs. These they weave into a nest in the
fork of the tree, far from the
 ground. Then in June their little ones are born. Paul
climbed up and saw four such lovely little squirrels,
covered with soft red and white fur. They stayed in the
nest for some time, though we often saw them moving
about among the branches. The old squirrels took such
care of them, and they stayed together all the summer.
In the autumn they hid little heaps of nuts and acorns
at the foot of the tree, to eat when they should awake
in the mild days in winter.
Then we did not see them again. We do not know whether
they all crept into one hole, or whether they each
found a hole, and curled themselves up to sleep.
A PAIR OF SQUIRRELS.