If you grew up in the Midwest or the South, you know that September is black walnut pickin’ season. It’s not as quaint as it sounds; the walnuts stain your hands the color of tar, often for days after the fact. Ideally, you’d get someone else to do the picking for you—like a crafty red squirrel, perhaps. Case in point: a 56-year-old North Dakota resident recently found a whopping 42 gallons of walnuts stashed under the hood of his truck, courtesy of a nearby squirrel.
The Washington Post reports that Fargo resident Bill Fischer has grappled with walnut-loving squirrels since 2013; specifically, one red squirrel who hides black walnuts under the hood of Fischer’s Chevrolet Avalanche year after year. Fischer told the Post that the squirrel chooses his truck because of the easy access via the “rear of the pickup, up the frame rails and then into the engine department.” Fisher told the Post: “I’ve even parked purposely out on the street—as far away as I can from the walnut tree—and they still go find the Avalanche and hide them in there.”
But this year’s walnut haul was shocking, even to Fischer. “Most I’ve ever pulled out was four or five six-gallon buckets,” he told the Post. “This year was seven.” He extracted the walnuts from beneath the vehicle’s hood and behind the fenders, then offered them up for free on his Facebook page. “Hurry as these may have a limited availability as I hear the hard working furry tree dweller might be retiring soon do to health reasons!” Fischer wrote. “Also the squirrel is dealing with a caustic work environment due to a relentless micromanaging supervisor of the canine type.”
Unfortunately, Fischer plans to trash the unclaimed walnuts, “much to the chagrin of the squirrel.” Fischer told the Post: “The squirrel will sit in the tree and watch me clean up the walnuts almost like: ‘That’s mine, buddy,’ as he’s watching me clean up his winter storage.” Let this enterprising squirrel enjoy his treasures, I say!