A squirrel gets a home of its own – thanks to a fruit seller and his wife

I have lived away from my hometown for about seven or so years now. When I got married seven years ago, I moved to Bangalore to be with my husband. Then we moved to Reading in the UK, and now we are in Dublin, Ireland.

However we both share a hometown, we grew up in a city called Baroda. (It’s in Gujarat which is on the western coast of India). This year, I was in Baroda for two months. And there was something that I had probably overlooked before, something very close to my mother’s place that really warmed my heart on this visit.

It was simple really but it made me happy. It was about a fruit seller and his wife who made a makeshift home for a squirrel that frequents the tree under which their fruit cart is positioned. They fashioned together a little home from a wooden plank, strings and rope, and placed a bowl of water, and grains and fresh fruit for the squirrel every day. I thought it was a beautiful gesture and it spoke of love and co-existing together and something that could so easily be overlooked.

Here are some photographs. You can’t see the squirrel in the first one, you can only see a red container, but do go on to the second and the third photograph and you will spot the squirrel.

(PS – I ended up buying some mangoes from his cart. Does the squirrel have any favourites, I had asked. They said, it loves melons a lot for some reason. And for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I have been thinking of this squirrel and this lovely couple today.)

A man in a stripped white shirt and a woman in an orange and pink sari stand with their fruit cart under a tree. There are mangoes, oranges, bananas, melons, watermelons, apples, chickoos, pomegranates and other fruits. You can see a red container nestled among the tree.
The fruit seller and his wife. If you look up at the tree you can see a red dabba/container of sorts nestled among the wires.
The squirrel. It is eating a muskmelon and you can see the remnants of green grapes as well.
The red container that you see in this picture has water for the squirrel.
I was told that the squirrel comes down to take the fruit offerings. It didn’t do so while I stood there with my mobile phone. It didn’t trust me. Fair enough. I wasn’t the one feeding him/her those fruits everyday.
They seemed like such a nice couple and genuinely loved the squirrel as well as the other squirrels that also visited them.

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