This winter, we kept a box of apples on the front porch. For some reason, we ate them more frequently than when they were on the kitchen counter. Not surprisingly, so did the neighborhood squirrels. However, the humans depleted the supply at a much quicker rate. Only occasionally did we see a partially enjoyed stray apple sitting in the middle of the porch or yard.
It wasn’t until we got down to the last two apples that there seemed to be real competition. By this point, the squirrels had also become very bold. Instead of moving the apple to a new snacking location, they now ate the apple while it was in the box. I caught one red-handed.
Catching one in the act turned my stomach a bit. I didn’t mind sharing the fruit but I wanted distinctly different eating areas. So, I decided to snatch the last untouched apple and bring it inside for a thorough cleaning. By the time I was done, I still wasn’t convinced, so I removed the peel. I understand this may have been excessive, but there are many things in my life these days that are out of my control. So, I took this opportunity to channel my inner cleaning demon.
Unsurprisingly, Elliana asked why I had removed the apple peel from her slices. I simply explained with a diluted version of squirrels, people food, and a concern for germs. She seemed satisfied and chomped happily on her snack.
Keeping all this in mind, fast forward to today. I picked Elliana up from school carline armed with the all-important snack. Today, it was an apple. This apple was green and definitely not part of the bunch that resided on our porch over the holidays. Still, my germ obsession had obviously left its mark on my daughter. She bit into the apple, and, with wide eyes and a concerned face said “Mommy, I taste the squirrel's hands!”
Now THAT is a good imagination.