Never Tease a Weasel: A Brief Visit with a Neighbor

By , August 20, 2010

This isn’t my story to tell, but if I don’t write it down, it may never be told.

The other evening, Michelle was out on our beach, finishing up some laundry and draining the wash basins. She saw something small and furry race across the beach below her. The local squirrels have been doing that frequently the last few weeks, but this animal was different. About the same size as the younger squirrels, this creature’s fur was soft brown on top, bright white below. Its features were exquisitely small, its eyes bright and penetrating. This was a short tailed weasel.Weasels are a common predator in our area, but one that’s so small, stealthy and quick we almost never see them. In winter, we often find their trackways, but at that season they’re all white except for the black tips of their tails, so they’re even harder to see.

On this evening, Michelle got a really good look, because the weasel circled around and came closer to her. It sniffed at the wash water flowing out of the hose, looked up and Michelle, and then ran off. A few seconds later it reappeared, circled closer, and sniffed at her shoe. It ran off again, circled around once more, and approached her closely until it put its paws on the toe of her shoe and looked intently up at her face! All this time she held as still as possible. She had no camera with her, but wouldn’t have tried to pull it out if she had.

The whole episode lasted less than a minute, then our little neighbor left Michelle completely enchanted!

The children’s book admonishes us to “never tease a weasel.” It doesn’t teach us what to do if a weasel teases you!

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