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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
Mama Squirrel by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...

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Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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By Gary Thomas
Dec. 19, 2012 12:42 a.m.



Most of the squirrels in Chillicothe seemed to be unafraid of humans. At least it seemed that way to my wife and I as we raised our children in the middle of town. We would feed the squirrels all kinds of scraps; back then we didn't have a lot of extra money for corn, besides we had a large walnut tree in the yard.



We had a large elm tree that had a hollowed-out place just right for squirrels. The mama squirrel that lived there was really used to us going in and out of the house and all the traffic on Washington street. We would throw slices of old bread out to her almost every day. It got to where she would come and take it out of Carolyn's hand and just sit by her and eat it.



She would start at the edge and eat around the bread in a circle until it was gone. She would have two to three babies every year and would teach them not to be afraid of us. She would bring them to the patio and showed them how to eat.



It was calming to watch and a joy to feed our squirrels---until one summer. Our extended family always came to Missouri for vacation and they would sometimes leave their kids with us because we had two of our own. This particular summer we got a young cousin that was a little more energetic than most. He saw how tame the squirrels were and thought he would catch one of them foor his own. So he went about building a trap; he used the best bait he could find--- a piece of bread.



It wasn't long before a half-tamed baby squirrel found his way into the trap. Our young cousin was so happy that he had caught one of our country squirrels; after all, he was the big city kid from California. Carolyn and I heard a commotion and came outside to investigate. Our mama squirrel was chattering wildly and running up and down the tree. I believed she would have jumped on my cousin if we weren't there. He wanted to keep his catch, but that was out of the question. I turned the little captive loose and up the tree he ran.



This event had made mama squirrel so mad she took her three little ones and moved away by the next morning. All summer long we did not see any of them. We would put bread out, but it would just get hard. So we just quit putting anytihing out. Fall came; still no squirrels. Carolyn was very upset with me because I let all this happen and I was sorry as well. Winter came and it was cold and snowy.



Then on one of the coldest mornings in January, I heard a knock on the door. We had a sliding glass door with heavy drapes so I pulled back the drapes and looked out and saw nothing. As I went back to the other room, I heard the little knock again so I looked out the living room bay window toward the door and saw nothing. When I heard the knock a third time, I pulled back the drapes all the way. Ihere at the base of the door was our mama squirrel setting upright on her backside with her front feet on the glass.



I yelled for Carolyn: "Carolyn, Carolyn come quick and bring a slice of bread, our mama squirrel has come home!" As Carolyn came to the door with the bread we both were smiling from ear to ear. I opened the door just a little as Carolyn got down on her knees to slide the bread into the hands of mama squirrel. She sat right there and ate it until it was all gone; we gave her some more and closed the door. We knew not to let her in our house because we did that once before---that's one thing you do NOT want to do. Squirrels go berserk when inside. I am thinking an earlier post describes the result.

My point is: whether animal or human, when you mess with her baby you better be ready to be messed with by mama.

DB

 

 


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