Have you ever wondered if wild animals have faults or vices similar to people?
Have you ever wondered if wild animals have faults or vices similar to people? I must confess that I had never given this much thought until I was assisting my mother-in-law with some chores one day and happened to glance out of her bedroom window.
Mom’s house was located on a one-half acre of land off a rural road in Pennsylvania. The house was over 30 years old at the time and so had plenty of mature landscaping surrounding it. Outside of this bedroom window was an old apple tree. The apples it produced tended to be small and disfigured, so generally nobody picked or used them in any manner.
The sight I was seeing was both comical and a bit disturbing. There were three large deer, two female and one buck, standing under the tree munching on fallen apples. We had had several frosty nights and the apples were already fermenting (rotting). As the deer ate more and more of the fallen apples they started having to lean on the tree for support. I continued watching their behavior for over hour. At the end of that time all three deer had either lay down or fallen over into the grass under the tree. They continued searching in the grass around them in the hopes of finding more fruit. It was obvious that they were very intoxicated.
I called Mom to the window and pointed out the deer behavior. She was not surprised. She said they did this every year! True Party animals!
Another case in point is Sarah, the squirrel. My husband and I named her because she was a regular moocher at my back door. For months we had been feeding the local birds from a feeder on a metal pole on our upper deck. Sarah was quite inventive in the many ways she tried and finally succeeded in breeching our squirrel security and invading the pole bird feeder. We finally agreed she had won and started leaving her seeds and more importantly, peanuts in a dish by our backdoor. The thought was that she would take these and leave the birds in peace.
So accustomed did Sarah become to being fed, that she would literally knock on the patio door if there was no food in her dish. One morning we slept in late and awoke to our tabby making awful cat yowling in the kitchen downstairs. Since this was not normal for him, we rushed downstairs to see what was happening. There on the kitchen counter sat Sarah our moocher looking down at our cat. When she saw us she started leaping all over the house. My husband walked over to the patio door and only then did he notice the huge hole in the screen where Sarah had let herself into our house! She did exit gracefully once the door was left open. Later that year she started bringing her son, Louie, to the house to be fed as well.
In less than a year my family had to pack up and relocate to Phoenix, Arizona. We were so worried about the birds, Sarah and Louie that we left a huge bag of seed and bags of peanuts for the next occupants, along with a letter about the squirrels. I never knew if they continued to feed our moochers.