Most people who follow tradition roast a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
Other people may serve ham or venison.
One of my sisters follows a tradition in her family
for Thanksgiving dinner; they always serve a pork and green salsa chili.
Some folks prepare a squirrel stew.
I'm not one of them.
In my house, since I'm a vegetarian, I prepare all the side dishes
like mashed potatoes, candied yams, green bean casserole, and stuffing.
No turkey. No ham. No squirrel.
I was thinking of such things today as I watched a squirrel
on one of our bird feeders.
It turned very cold yesterday,
so when I saw Mr. Squirrel perched on the arch of the shepherd's hook
that holds our "squirrel proof" feeder, I wondered what he was up to.
His tail was fluffed and curled over his back and rested between his ears.
I figured he was trying to keep warm,
and I admired the muscles outlined in his legs and the power and grace
with which he moves.
But then he moved on to the roof of the house-shaped feeder,
the one with a bar that closes the seed tray when his weight settles down on the lever.
He leaned over, stretched out his long back,
grabbed the lever with both of his tiny paws
and pulled the lever up, exposing the seed tray.
He stuck his snout in and supped.
I'm sure this week, Mr. Squirrel is thankful
that he is still smarter than most humans.