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A three footed squirrel eating birdseed on the ground.

Really, there’s a long explanation for how it came about, but let’s just say that I feed some of the squirrels that live in my sister’s backyard. Smudge is by far the friendliest. Sometimes she follows me around like a dog when I’m gardening. I’ve become fascinated by their social lives because on the one hand they’re can be solitary and territorial. On the other they can be quite sociable. I haven’t yet figured out how they decide which other squirrels they tolerate, which ones they play with and which ones get chased away.
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This fellow appears to be friendly with my friend Smudge. Smudge is very jealous of her relationship with the magical peanut dispenser and threatens most other squirrels who approach me. However, she tolerates Tripod. The fellow has half a tail and only three feet.

Tripod, the three legged squirrel running up a tree with a peanut in his mouth.
He’s one of the most timid of the squirrels. He never starts fights and always runs away if another squirrel threatens him. He’ll come close to me to get a peanut, but he always moves quickly, so it’s hard to get a good picture of him.

Tripod enjoying his peanut high up in a tree.

Despite his disability, he gets around pretty well.