I was late getting out to feed Mr. Squirrel and the bird hangers-on. And (admittedly, kinda on purpose) I hit Mr. Squirrel with a peanut. It bounced off his side. He didn't lose a second in picking it up and dashing it away. He didn't even chatter at me.
I retreated from the wind and cold to watch the antics of his crow chasing (he puts the blue jays to flight also). He expends so much energy I wonder if he uses up all his peanuts on a day-to-day basis. However, he surpassed even his own powers of movement by dashing across the deck to get at a particularly enticing pile of peanuts. He came out of nowhere and retraced his steps with alacrity. It seemed too much even for him.
And it was.
It turned out to be Squirrel #2.
Twice I have heard another squirrel, but in the distance. Today Squirrel #2 appeared - and without a sound. As Mr. Squirrel gave chase to crows and blue jays and squirreled away nuts for himself, Squirrel #2 made swift and soundless dashes across the deck, a peanut per pop. I'm not even sure Mr. Squirrel saw this interloper, but such a situation can't go on for long. What will it be like tomorrow? Should I arm myself? Broom handle or mop?