It's fun, especially on Sabbath, to sit outside and feed the backyard critters. If they could speak human, the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks would agree that peanuts are their favorite treat. Rabbits usually go for the corn and seed, but they’ll eat a nut every now and then.
Chipmunks will do almost anything to get a peanut. There’s an Internet video showing a man putting peanuts in his pocket, opening it wide, and a chipmunk jumping from far away right into the pocket! Chipmunks have been known to find where I am in the house and sit outside the window, trying to get my attention.
While birds prefer shelled peanuts for size and convenience, both chipmunks and squirrels prefer unshelled because they store better. Unshelled peanuts come in many sizes, but most standard ones have two pods. In most bags of peanuts you can find a couple peanuts with three or even four pods. I save these giant ones, as well as the two-pod ones, for squirrels, since they can usually carry only one at a time. They don’t store food in their cheeks the way chipmunks do. We have a mother squirrel, however, who has gotten pretty good at carrying two peanuts at a time. She often tries three, but it never works out, and she has to leave one behind.
While chipmunks can store lots of nuts and seeds at once, the standard peanut can be a bit awkward, so I save the tiny, single-pod peanuts for them. They can fit quite a few of these, and when their cheeks look as though they are about to burst; they run to their dugout. As they scamper away, you can hear the peanuts rattling around in their shells. Watching these little critters with their racing stripes is like watching a cartoon. They are so funny!
At times it can get hectic, with critters competing for the nutty treats at the same time. Usually it’s greedy chipmunks duking it out among themselves. Squirrels are a little more timid and stand back waiting for me to throw them a peanut, but sometimes they get as greedy as the chipmunks and jump in the midst. When this happens, they get a small peanut meant for the chipmunk, which doesn’t go too far if it is taken back to a nest for sharing.
Like squirrels, we can sometimes get impatient when we want something, and we don’t always put a lot of thought into whether or not it is a good idea. Have you ever gotten something you wanted, then later it didn’t seem so great after all? Have you ever wished you had something that someone else had? A go-cart, a cell phone, an iPad, or even a trophy? Have you gotten mad at not being picked on the softball team you wanted? Chill out! God knows your talents, your weaknesses, and your wants. He has great plans for you!
God has custom-made a life just to fit you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (NLT).”* What someone else has or does may not be what’s best for you, and God knows that. Proverbs 3:5, 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you with path to take (NLT).” God’s love takes care of everything—from his furry critters, to your life, as well!
—Michelle Elliott Fontaine lives in Alpharetta, Georgia. You can see her funny critter videos at www.thecritterbook.com.
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