The Squirrel Game


Mr. C and I were at a local playground when he noticed the tremendous amount of acorns beneath a vary large oak tree.  They seemed to carpet the ground.  He decided to pretend to be a squirrel and hide some acorns around the playground.  Placing some under swings, next to the slide, under the benches, at the top of the slide.  ‘Winter is coming!” he said,  “I have to get ready for the long winter!”

When it was time for us to go, he still wanted to play his new squirrel game.  So he decided to stuff as many acorns as possible in my pockets.  Seemed like a fun idea at the time.

I thought he might want to do something similar at home.  Maybe hide them around the backyard, bury them in the garden, or maybe use them to fill up his toy dump truck and move them around with his toy bulldozer.  I was wearing my work shorts at the time.  Heavy canvas shorts that I usually wear when doing some kind of project around the house.   These are shorts that have a seemingly infinite number of pockets for all kinds of tools,  separate pockets for a hammer, two large pockets on either leg that are large enough for a tape measure.  There are pockets everywhere.  When I agreed to the idea, I think I forgot how many pockets I had or to consider the possibility that he would want to fill up every pocket with as many acorns as he could.

Still it seemed like a fun idea, even as he was filling up every single pocket with as many acorns as he could find.   We drove home, with nuts spilling out of my pockets onto the car floor on the way.  Once we arrived back home,  I emptied out my pockets into a large bucket on our back porch.   It was around lunch time, so that was the end of the acorns for awhile.  I thought he might continue with his new acorn game after lunch, but he forgot about them for a few hours.

On a side note, I had to do an internet search to try to find out why there were so many acorns from this tree.  Apparently every ten years or so, some trees will produce a huge amount of nuts.  No one can really explain why.

A few hours later, while I was occupied with the chopping and mixing and usual what not of dinner.  Mr. C managed to bring the full bucket of acorns into the house.   He then hid them in various places all around the house.  ‘It’s the squirrel game, Dada!’   At the time, I decided to continue to make dinner rather than to try to gather up those acorns.  What could happen, I thought.





He started by putting them in shoes.  He likes the idea that if we try to put on our shoes we will find them filled with acorns.  It’s so hilarious that he will direct us to put on shoes that he has filled with acorns and then he will laugh himself silly once we can’t put on the shoes.

They’re in my shoes.  In Ms. J’s shoes.   He expanded beyond the shoes fairly quickly.  They’re also under the beds.  Under the sofa.   On bookcases.  There’s an empty mouthwash bottle in the tub that he likes to play with when he takes a bath,  it has a dozen acorns in it now.    I found a few in the refrigerator.

They’re everywhere.

I used to think that the worst thing to step on with bare feet was a Lego.   It’s not, an acorn is worse.

‘Have to get ready for Winter, Dada!’

‘Not in the cat box, please!’




9 thoughts on “The Squirrel Game

  1. This is such a funny story, Peter. I can just picture your house and especially your shoes, filled to the brim with acorns. What a great game! Did you know that during the Norman Conquest, the English soldiers carried dried acorns as good luck charms, to help protect them from harm? They were considered to be an emblem of luck, prosperity, youthfulness and power, so whenever you step on a few around the house, just thank your lucky stars. 😀

    • It’s interesting how so many things we take for granted in the forest have a long history in stories like that. I read a book about trees a few years ago by Donald Culross Peattie that included all kinds of information like that. I think it’s out of print now unfortunately!

  2. That is just hilarious! Did you know the Native Americans here used to grind those acorns and cook them in some kind of porridge every day? So if you get hungry this winter, you know what to do.
    We picked a lot of acorns this past weekend in the mountain woods. The park rangers offered a bag of polished rocks in exchange for the picking. I guess they don’t want more oak trees to grow in the forest, as they use the water the old trees need to stay healthy and not dry up or die, which increases the fire risk. So we did our good deed and got 2 small bags of rocks in exchange. My kids love it! I’ll have to write a post on that.

    • That sounds like a good exchange for some acorns! And what a good idea for the park staff to come up with something like that, gets the visitors involved in helping out!

      Apparently in WWII, acorns were also used to create a coffee substitute. I wonder what it tasted like, I’m guessing it was not good.

  3. Yes, tons of acorns this year. We were visiting friends at a New Hampshire lake and as we ate lunch on their deck we were bombarded by acorns. It was a little disconcerting.

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