Peanut Butter and Pickles and Squirrels

We went camping (in a cabin with a bathroom, so not too rough) last weekend. After lunch one day we left our jar of peanut butter out on the table. I didn’t think about it since some other members or our group were still eating when I left to take a kiddo to the potty, and everyone was leaving when we came out, I didn’t think to check if they cleaned up (I’m a trusting soul that way).

So everyone knows what happens to food left out at a campsite, right? But since I thought it was packed away, I didn’t look for it later.

Fast forward to the following morning.

The kids were playing with a ball that fell down into a small ravine that ran next to our picnic tables. Auntie bravely trekked down the slope to retrieve the ball, and said, “Hey Kara, your peanut butter is down here!” So I climbed down there too. We’d seen squirrels watching us during mealtimes from the ravine, and from the looks of the jar I got back, that’s who made off with the peanut butter. Which is pretty impressive since the jar probably weighed as much as the squirrel.

Looks like they were frustrated by the jar though, and eventually gave up. There were a couple of small scratches on the bottom of the jar, but nothing like what you see here on the lid. That makes me wonder – were these squirrels (who live at a campsite and are no strangers to human food containers) familiar enough with peanut butter jars to know that they could get in through the lid, or did the lid end just smell better? Because it occurs to me that if they chewed at the bottom as much as they chewed at the lid, they probably could have made it through the much thinner plastic on that part of the jar. But they didn’t. Silly squirrels.

Oh, and the pickles. . . Well, Grandma made a comment (when she went into the ravine after the ball on a separate occasion) about all the weed prickles that got stuck in her socks. There were all sorts of burs, spores, and foxtails down there. My littlest spent some time thereafter concerned about getting pickles (that’s how she said it) in her own socks, and had to examine everyone’s feet frequently in constant worry, lest the pickles attack someone else. Gotta watch out for those darn pickles.

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