The squirrels are very active this time of year, plumping up and gathering food for the long winter.
I happened upon a couple of them on my way to check the mail this afternoon, and I was amused by their antics. What first caught my attention was their frantic activity, as they took turns chasing each other angrily near the base of a tree. They were rather mismatched in size, but from what I could tell from a distance, the small orange squirrel made up in attitude what the bigger grey one had on it in bulk.
As their fight happened to lie directly in my path toward the mailbox, it was not long before I drew close enough for them to notice me. As quickly as it had likely started, their fight abruptly ended as their priorities suddenly shifted from the source of their conflict to their immediate survival. The pair froze in mid-fight and warily watched my approach.
The little orange squirrel blinked first, and it quickly dashed to the tree a couple of bounds behind it and ascended a couple of feet. A few seconds later the bigger squirrel's resolve dissolved, and it turned and dashed across the sidewalk and down the side of a neighbour's house.
I assumed they would resume their quarrel once I was past, but to my surprise the little orange squirrel remained clinging to the tree and watching me for a moment before it launched itself from the tree in my direction. It scrambled frantically where it had been fighting with the other squirrel moments before, nabbed something from the ground, and then quickly escaped up the tree again.
As I was returning home with the mail, the orange squirrel was roosting safely up in the middle branches of the tree, loudly scolding the other squirrel.
It occurred to me that this was a good reminder that though nature often favours the biggest and the strongest, sometimes it pays to be the more opportunistic.