So, Sunday I was out back filling up the downstairs finch feeder, bringing some pots of violets in to protect them from the cold, and giving some (shelled) peanuts* to the crows, when the squirrel came up. It's not a regular resident but an on and off again visitor that comes up about once a week or so. Once or twice I've gotten it to eat off of my hand, so I gave that a try. No problem: the squirrel was glad to have a few and then turned to getting some for itself off the ground. I finished up, gathered things together, and was getting ready to go back inside (it was, after all, the coldest day of the year so far), when the squirrel came back. I put a few more shelled peanuts on my hand and offered it some. Whereupon it nuzzled my fingers, and then bit me.
My response: Ow!
On the negative side, it hurt, and like all injuries to a fingertip bled more than you'd think from such a small wound. So that was annoying. And of course there was the chagrin from an avoidable injury.
On the positive side, I guess, this does add a new one to the litany of Things That Have Bit Me:
--the catbite incident** (which led to thirteen days in the hospital)
--the time a few years back when I got bit v. slightly by a mole I was rescuing from some cats
--the snail I rescued from the road (a gentle rasping, like being licked by the tiniest puppy ever)
--and now, squirrels. Gah.
On the other hand, there was the time I wasn't bitten by a parrot (it crushed my ring instead).
Guess that's the nice thing about feeding crows; they're wary enough that I've never tried hand-feeding them -- though they're smart enough that I suspect they'd do a better job on their end than that squirrel did.
--current reading: THE CITY OF AKHENATEN AND NEFERTITI: AMARNA AND ITS PEOPLE by Barry Kemp 
*I used to give the crows peanuts in shells, but because of concerns over empty peanut shells possibly blocking up gutters I had to switch to shelled peanuts in the complex, while I use peanuts in shells when out and about
**which was itself the second of three times I've been bitten by a cat badly enough to require medical assistance
concert review: Murray Perahia
1 day ago