Squirrel Favored a Bachelor’s Life

My dad came home one day with a baby ground squirrel in his pocket. He’d accidently plowed up the nest.

We named him Punky, and I was responsible for getting up in the middle of the night to feed him.

We put him in a birdcage that had a wheel, which he ran on frequently. We also gave him an oatmeal box and nesting material.

When Punky was 2, we decided he needed a mate, so Dad got a female. It promptly­ took over the oatmeal box.

When we fed them, the female would take all the food and leave nothing for Punky. It also screamed at him when he ran on his wheel.

After three days, Punky was a nervous wreck, so we returned the female.

Punky searched the nest, and when he saw that his companion was gone, he chirped joyfully and ran around the cage.

Punky remained a bachelor the rest of his life, dying at the ripe old age of 7.

Fargo, Okla.