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Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Imagine if you will a real-life, modern-day Saint Francis – not all the high-born and father didn’t like his name stuff, but the animals part.  The friend to all creatures, critter-whisperer.  That Saint Francis.  Well, here’s the thing.  I know this man. This latterday guardian of all living things.  All living things except humans which might be construed as a crucial difference between this man Frank and the Assisian original.

In fact Frank is of the opinion that there are far too many of us human varmints jostling and barging one another through life, and that instead of dwelling on our own selfish needs we need to protect our planet for those that have no voice and no means to halt the uninvited destruction of their world.  I imagine his sentiments are perceived at best as highly eccentric and at worst with a great deal of suspicion by many.  But much of what he quietly iterates resonates with me.

I had heard much of Frank before I met him.  I knew that he had a squirrel whom he had nursed back from injury and who he had recently discovered was in fact Josephine rather than Joseph.  She has the run of his backyard now that she is fit and hale again but during her long convalescence had a tree, a full sized tree, in the house to be her natural squirrelling self in.  And for the avoidance of doubt, the house is a modest house, in an ordinary street not a gaspingly vast mansion.  She is a cared for and nurtured squirrel and he files her claws regularly since she is not scampering around a wide-open space as she would have been had she not succumbed to a speeding car in the particular suburb of Boston that she lives in.  His next door neighbour is a Dental Surgeon and he has asked him to make braces for Josephine’s teeth since he worries that her fang-angle is becoming an issue.  Not cosmetically, you understand but rather in terms of her ability to gnaw gustily.   Excited to meet this tiny mammal saviour, I had rehearsed my appropriate conversation opener.  Donning my most charming and inclusive smile, I commented that I had heard all about his squirrel and that in fact my mother is called Josephine.  He stared hard and with undisguised mild alarm and softly murmured ‘Your mother?  Is a squirrel?’   Seldom lost for words, my powers of pithy response evaporated and the previously alluring smile froze unbecomingly on my nonplussed face giving me a distinct air of rampantly and irreversibly imbecilic.   It turns out that there really is no comeback from the disquieting visual of your mother become rodent.

Most people discourage mice in their homes.  Frank calls them ‘the little people’ and actively ENcourages them by leaving all their favourite treats in prominent places.  He doesn’t shoo them off the table but rather invites them to share his plate.  I do not have a word powerful enough to describe what a peace-loving soul Frank is.  Strange certainly but bloodless and I feel remarkably tranquil simply writing of him.

Frank is companion and protector to all animals.  He is their true and unwavering friend.  He does not do this in the name of anybody’s God but simply because he can and he wants to.    Surely that is what true friendship should be based in.  Love, decency and kindness.  This little traipse into the world of Frank is prompted by the Weekly Photo Challenge dubbed Friend.  You can potter through the superabundance of delights here, and in honour of Frank and Josephine here are two plumptuous Squirrels partaking of the feasts I put out daily, when I’m in residence,  for their delectation in our Massachusian backyard.

DSCF9605

PS:  The title is stolen from Zeffirelli’s 1972 film of the life of Francis of Assisi, ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’ which in turn come from Saint Francis’ own praises for all creatures written when he was very sick himself.  I reproduce a little excerpt here because, despite not being of his faith, I am of the belief that a beautiful piece of writing should be celebrated simply for being a beautiful piece of writing, not tainted nor tarred with prejudice, nor owned exclusively by one self-elected sector of society.  Simply embraced and cherished.  Like friendship.

Praise be to Thee, my Lord, with all Thy creatures,
Especially to my worshipful brother sun,
The which lights up the day, and through him dost Thou brightness give;
And beautiful is he and radiant with splendor great;
Of Thee, most High, signification gives.

Praised be my Lord, for sister moon and for the stars,
In heaven Thou hast formed them clear and precious and fair. p. 153

Praised be my Lord for brother wind
And for the air and clouds and fair and every kind of weather,
By the which Thou givest to Thy creatures nourishment.
Praised be my Lord for sister water,
The which is greatly helpful and humble and precious and pure.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
By the which Thou lightest up the dark.
And fair is he and gay and mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our sister, mother earth,
The which sustains and keeps us
And brings forth diverse fruits with grass and flowers bright.

And for your bonus,  Donovan sings the title song he wrote for the movie:

‘Brother Sun and Sister Moon, I seldom see your tune – preoccupied with selfish misery’ ….

We might be minded to take that line to heart, do we think?

123 Comments Post a comment
  1. Josephine, my grandmother’s name and Millie’s middle name, I have never thought of either as a squirrel before! But what a special girl she is, and a squirrel with braces, surely a first. Actually I found this all rather humbling, what an incredible man.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Thank you so much, Susan … Josephine’s whether middle or first name, are to be treasured – ours at least! Frank is absolutely humbling and extraordinary. I will bring a few more of his tales to the table along the way. I will also email you after the weekend (off to Marcolรจs) … I have news ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

      Like

      June 1, 2017
      • I love the name Josephine, and not just because of the family connection. Looking forward to many more stories about Frank. News is always exciting, I hope! Can’t wait, have a great long weekend, it’s a busy one here, just keep your fingers crossed for the youngest member of the clan! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • I certainly will. I sense Tennis ๐ŸŽพ and though I have never even met her she has my unswerving support!! News is good, yes ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

        Like

        June 1, 2017
  2. 1st of all: I’ve loved your story about Frank and Zeffirelli has been a huge film director…
    2nd of all: happy month of June – wherever you may be… ๐Ÿ™‚
    * * *
    @”Frank is companion and protector to all animals…” – he’s reminded me of our “national treasure” – Matthieu Ricard… โค whose blog I've read for years: ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www.matthieuricard.org/blog

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • En France en fait! I adore Zeffirelli …. so many of the moments that defined my young woman-self. And Frank? There will be more … there is MUCH more! Happy June to you in Sicily ๐Ÿ˜˜

      Liked by 1 person

      June 1, 2017
      • thanx, Osyth! we visited Sicily and the Aeolian islands the last week of May… ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        June 12, 2017
      • Lovely!

        Like

        June 12, 2017
  3. Our garden is overrun with squirrels. Thanks for bringing a meaning to this! I also think mice are cute. Happy June.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • My pleasure! Happy June to you too – and the squirrels and the mice ๐Ÿญ

      Like

      June 1, 2017
  4. Wonderful story and excellent photograph, Osyth

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Thank you so much Derrick. The picture was taken through the kitchen window which is normally a recipe for disaster in my hands. I miss those critters very much as I gaze at my view of la Banque de France here in Grenoble!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 1, 2017
  5. I am crying! So poignant in all respects. Love Donovan, loved the film. Your squirrels look extremely well-fed! My garden is alive with birds that I wake up to every morning and watch all day. One or both of our robins comes and sits on the small cherry tree in front of the kitchen window every evening and watches us. There is a hedgehog that comes out in the evenings and takes a drink from the dish of water we have out there. The occasional squirrel scoots through on its way to the woodland cemetery at the end of our street. Lovely piece. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 2 people

    June 1, 2017
    • Thank you so much. I have so much respect and love for Frank and I wanted to get the tone of the piece right. He will appear again. There are so many tales. I miss my critters dreadfully … I am in Grenoble for the foreseeable and though I love it, I do miss the garden so please feed me with stories of yours whenever you feel like it! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      June 1, 2017
      • Scheduled post next week with garden pics and avian life ๐Ÿ˜Š My Insta page photos come out better for some reason than on my blog. @pearsnotparsnips

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • That I will look forward to! Enjoy your time out ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • Ps Did you see this: http://wp.me/p6UDky-4T2 ‘Have you ever tried wrangling young rabbits?!’ Might cause some mild amusement ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • More than mild. Much more. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • Another ps: my grandfather and my youngest grandson are both Frank (just to even out the Josephines๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

        June 6, 2017
      • I have never EVER known a less than wonderful Frank …. I’m delighted to know of two more!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 6, 2017
  6. There are not enough Franks in this world, and that’s a fact. All little critters have a right to do what nature intended them to do, and for none of them does that mean becoming a handbag or a fancy coat. My third daughter is a Josephine, Josephine Nuala to be precise. Another special one for the collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • What a beautiful name. My mother is going to be delighted when she discovers I have unearthed all these Josephine’s! We need far more Franks. I will tell more of his stories. There are many. He is quite a hero in my eyes.

      Like

      June 1, 2017
      • The people who actually DO things that benefit other creatures are the ones who deserve the decorations, not the self-serving members of the ‘business community’ (may they rot in hell, I will not add though I’ll think it).

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • Start me not! Suffice to say I agree with what you say and ‘don’t’ say wholeheartedly and passionately

        Like

        June 1, 2017
      • Whenever I see one of those little blue or red buttonholes I wonder what fat juicy deals were pushed their way, and how much money they made out of them.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
  7. A beautiful, gentle piece that reflects so well on its subject matter. Though I have to say that actively encouraging mice into my home is something I’d never contemplate!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • No little squeakers at your dining table then ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿญ ๐Ÿญ ๐Ÿญ Thank you for that lovely and thoughtful comment. It honestly means more than you might know ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      June 1, 2017
      • Not by invitation! I’m glad my words mean so much, though I’m not sure why. Hope all’s well xx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • Who knows why one voice resonates … but yours does xx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • Thank you, and ditto xx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
  8. Brilliant. A perfect post. ‘your mother was a squirrel?’ I love Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • I’m going to start a Frank Fan Club! You would genuinely love him. I know this even without my special powers!

      Like

      June 1, 2017
  9. Wait — you have a house in Massachusetts?!? Fairly new follower of yours, so I’m still not up to speed…

    But I loved your story. And your pictures. No mice allowed in my house though — and now I feel slightly guilty about that, not enough to allow them in, but, you know, a twinge.

    I do, however, regularly perform eft rescues when I see them trying to cross the road. Occasionally earthworms too, after a rain and they’re in the middle of the pavement. Turtles have been nudged to safety, but I nearly lost a few fingers to a snapper doing that.

    The other day the kids were yelling because we had a porcupine in the yard. We watched it waddle away and wondered at the amazing variety of creatures around here in the country.

    I could go on and on about the skunks and the deer and woodchucks and opossums, but you get the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • My husband has worked in Cambridge since 1989. I joined him in Massachusetts last year but it is, as they say, complicated. I’m happy you enjoyed the post and very happy to hear about all your critters. I absolutely miss them. Loved the wildlife and the yard buddies! Mice …. well most wouldn’t but Frank is a very special man. There will be more of him in later posts! But you haven’t missed anything current … I am currently in France and for the foreseeable. As I say – it’s complicated — even I get confused!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 1, 2017
      • You don’t have to tell me about complicated. My husband and I are in different towns most of the time. Spending a week together in France was the most time we’ve had together in a very long time. Yes, complicated.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 1, 2017
      • But isn’t the time we have together SO special? It’s not easy to live apart but who promised easy in life? I wish you and your husband as much precious time together as you can get …. And by the way – your critter stories brought a warm smile to my face. Particularly the porcupine โ˜บ

        Like

        June 2, 2017
  10. What a kind and gentle soul. My dog, Milo, has braces due to a jaw and lower canine malocclusion that that pierced a hole in his upper palate. I thought that was surprising enough but a squirrel! You learn something every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Good for Milo! The Bean had to have several teeth removed just after Christmas but is now far more keen to play tugging and fetching games than she was before so I think her mouth must have been very uncomfortable. Josephine is certainly a well-cared for squirrel and Frank is quite ‘out there’ in his approach!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  11. It’s such a fine piece of writing and thanks for sharing this amazing poem. Of course, the pictures are so damn cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Thank you so much …. that poem is worth seeking out in its entirety – I love the rhythm of the medieval language ๐Ÿ™‚Those chubby squirrels make me smile!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 2, 2017
  12. I remember the Zefirelli film. Frank sounds a wonderful person. I have to say, though, that I draw the line at mice in the house. No problem with them outside, but they do make an unholy and unhygienic mess if left to themselves indoors.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Frank is a unique soul – most are quite horrified at ‘the little people’ but he just doesn’t see things quite the same way!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 2, 2017
  13. Wow, a gentle soul. Interesting read. Thank you for sharing. I once met a lady that had a similar life. She said she could hear the deer thinking!

    Liked by 2 people

    June 1, 2017
    • Oh that lady I would love to meet. I am certain that these are the sanest of souls. The insanity is the unkindness that is rife in humanity.

      Like

      June 5, 2017
  14. Just try to imagine your outpost of the Banque de France run by squirrels: as the people go in, furnish them in your imagination with bushy tails – colour of your choice – and pointy ears. Whether any of them have nuts is another matter, but the exercise will enliven the somewhat static view from your windows…

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • Just back from a few days in la France Profonde and putting your advice into practice. It works!!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  15. You must get hold of a photo of Josephine’s braces!
    I share Frank’s analysis that we are an invasive species that is throwing nature’s balance out of whack. It seems we could still live quite well with less stuff, taking up less space and polluting less. On the other hand, within the four walls of my house, I do prefer humans to be the only inhabitants. I’m happy to feed the critters outside the house, though, mostly birds and mice.

    Liked by 3 people

    June 1, 2017
    • I want to see that photo too! Frank sounds like a true saint in addition to being a wonderful friend.

      Liked by 3 people

      June 1, 2017
      • Frank has no camera nor phone so it will have to fall to my husband to invade the yard and take the snap!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 5, 2017
    • It’s interesting, I think that most of us feel the same way. We want to build our houses for us alone (with the occasional animal domestique invited but that’s all) and yet for many of us our gardens are havens for invited wildlife. I am sure Frank (who is visiting Grenoble in a fortnight) will be delighted to find so many that share his opinion on the march of humans. And the photo will fall to my husband to take since Frank has no photographic equipment at all. Not even a cellphone!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  16. I enjoyed reading your story..it was a beautiful.way to end my day…a day which was filled with sorrow..someone really dear to the family died today of cancer at only 13 years old…its past midnight here and obviously been trying to clear my mind and heart…glad to have scrolled down over your post and found comfort in your story here..

    The commentst also were very interesting and engaging you have brilliant followerss…

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • I am so sorry for your loss – ALL of “you” who knew and love the child. Every death becomes a desperate cry for the appropriation of increased funding for medical research. I wish you peace and good health during the time we are waiting for a cure.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      June 2, 2017
      • Thank you so.much for your.kind thoughts..

        Liked by 2 people

        June 3, 2017
      • You are very welcome. Losing a loved one is always difficult and grieving always follows, but losing one so young – and for that reason – is heartbreaking. How could I NOT ring in with an expression of empathy?
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

        June 3, 2017
      • I agree with you..such a young girl..with so much dreams and so much to do…its really been difficult for all of us ..

        Liked by 2 people

        June 3, 2017
      • Sending prayers for healing – for ALL of you.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

        June 3, 2017
      • Mich, I am so sorry – I have been away these last few days and only now can I read these comments. The loss of human life in any circumstances, brings sadness to those close. The loss of a young life, a child, is the hardest thing to bear. The future seems much harder to bear when the dreams of a young life are axed too soon. I have no words of comfort for you, but I say this … you were all part of her little life, you made that life worthwhile and you will live on taking her spirit with you and allowing her to shine on your own path, to guide in the way that only the very young can – without fear or loathing. Take that thought and hold it close. In a while, some way down the road, you will see the light for yourself. And it will be her. Namaste.

        Like

        June 5, 2017
      • Thank you dear Osyth for your kind thoughts…thank you so so much..

        Liked by 1 person

        June 5, 2017
  17. Thank you Osyth for sharing your dear friend Frank. He sounds like a real gem. I would draw the line at encouraging mice but I did feel incredibly sad when my now deceased cat Toby ended the life of a little field mouse who used to visit my former home. I once rescued a baby squirrel from his clutches and nursed it overnight but sadly it died from shock. I felt incredibly sad then too…

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • I think most would draw the line at encouraging mice but I can’t bear to see them killed. I have a follow up story (not of Frank) that you remind me I should tell some time. It is so desperately sad when little creatures die helplessly … I prefer not to fiddle with nature but of course my late cat would tell that tale quite differently as I was always shooing him away from what he considered his natural business!!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  18. A beautiful piece of writing and heartfelt story. The squirrels here in Florida are small and sweet in nature. But, I remember the squirrels in Dallas, Texas seemed to be a rude and selfish. I enjoyed this post as usual and hope all is will with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • In MA we have both types … perhaps there is a reflection of the people there ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  19. What a delightful post, Osyth! I so enjoyed reading about Frank and his gentle soul. And,
    I loved the picture of the squirrels from your backyard—my….they are plump! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    June 1, 2017
    • My daughter pronounced them ‘fatters’ when she saw the picture!! Thank you so much for your comment … it is lovely to see you!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  20. There is nothing more triumphant than the soaring of an eagle, the majestic gate of a deer. Nothing more serene than a fish swimming in a shallow pond, the ripples from a pebble cast in. Nothing more natural than the flora and fauna that have inhabited this earth long before we came, and shall long after were gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    June 2, 2017
    • From your lips to God’s ears “Weird Guy” – with more loving kindness like Frank’s perhaps we won’t poison the planet, creating an environment that is hostile to all. Who knows? Maybe kindness to critters will foster an expansion to include other human beings in our kindness circles.

      Beautiful post, Osyth. Brother Sun, Sister Moon is one of my favorite films (and not just because I saw it for the first time with one of my favorite people — on a BIG movie screen). It was so nice to be reminded of that day.
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      Liked by 2 people

      June 2, 2017
      • I’m glad you enjoyed the read, Madelyn. Human kindness should extend to all creatures great and small. If we give all our neighbours, human or not the same consideration that we expect for ourselves then it follows that together we create a better place for us all to dwell. Unfortunately, most are too greedy for that to be a possibility. In my opinion.

        Like

        June 5, 2017
    • Perfectly put. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  21. Pan #

    Your plump squirrels miss you.. They had a great start, to face the hardships of winter.. I know they miss you.. My dad fed 2 foxes that he named Fox and Moulder, for years.. With the exception of 2 weeks while dad recuperated from knee replacement surgery.. Mom fed them in his stead.. She said they’d pace and nose around the bowls after eating and would keep looking up at the house after eating, for about a half hour before slipping back into the field of thick palmetto.. Fox stopped making off with his bowl and dropping it 50ft or so away.. They didn’t miss a meal but it was obvious they missed dad.. The first time he fed them after he recovered, he had to scold them to stay back, until he put the bowls down and walked back through the gate.. Mom said they seemed to dance when they darted out as dad walked down the driveway.. Dad never let them approach and he wasn’t changing the rules.. After they ate, Fox ran away with his bowl, only to drop it, about 50ft away.. Dad was feeding them again and they were back to normal, after their abnormal welcome home dance..
    Frank may seem eccentric or suspicious, we all have our limits of reason and normality..
    If we close our eyes to our own biases and look into the heart of an action, I believe we find the good or bad.. You met Frank and saw his gentleness with the same methodology I believe you can spot the vile corruption in an otherwise, socially perceived upstanding citizen.. I always enjoy reading your stories because the point of view isn’t from your eyes.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    June 2, 2017
    • I absolutely love this foxy tale ๐ŸฆŠ… we tend to imagine that we are the only creatures that have refined feelings and emotions — how wrong can we be and this story lends itself well to my theory! I see what I see and I tell it. I probably have distorted glasses but I don’t intend to take an eye-test ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
      • Pan #

        Our hearts have the power to blur our vision.. That plays out in the world as good and bad.. ๐Ÿ’› I’m glad you gravitate to the good side ๐Ÿ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

        June 5, 2017
      • It’s an affliction but one I refuse to fight!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 5, 2017
  22. I love this account of one life participating in and being responsible to all life.
    Osyth… how do you think such values and character were developed?

    Liked by 1 person

    June 2, 2017
    • Frank is older than me by almost 10 years and therefore lived through the real eye of the Peace campaign of the 60s. I guess he stayed there. He is, as well as peaceful, extremely stubborn. I guess that helps too. I’ve been away for some time – I feel it’s time to enter the fray again.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  23. Beautiful read and the photographs are amazing. Nice one Osyth.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 3, 2017
  24. Ah my friend, I always savour the anticipation of reading your posts. I save them till last as I know that they are worthy of all my attention, and a little patience on my part makes the fulfilment so much more enjoyable. This was another gem to treasure from your life-tale. Look forward to hearing more about Frank, and the lovely way you word your posts just adds to the pictures you create in my mind. Take care, and blessings be to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    June 4, 2017
    • That is SUCH a beautiful complement and I take it humbly and with pleasure. Frank is a unique spirit and I will certainly tell more tales from his backyard. Blessings to you too … you lighten and brighten my spirit and I think a you.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2017
  25. So much to enjoy in this wonderful post of yours Osyth. It has certainly lifted my spirits this morning, which of course is what friendship does; particularly watching the excerpt from the film and listening to the words and voice of Donovan and his title song. I am always enchanted by a line of cypress trees against the sky as you know. They were the extra bonus. Thanks also for taking me back to one of our most memorable visits almost 20 years ago to Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco. Warmest wishes as always in these troubled times ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    June 5, 2017
    • Thank you Andrew – for your warmth, which sweeps across the mighty ocean and cheers my tired spirit. I am happy, truly happy that you enjoyed the post. Friendship, real friendship is a wonderful gift. I am fortunate to count you amongst mine. Go softly, my friend ๐Ÿค—

      Like

      June 5, 2017
  26. Lovely story dear Fiona!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 5, 2017
  27. I was gasping with laughter there. Ref: Josephine. Those squirrels, they are ๐Ÿ™‚ The other day I spotted a little girl stalking a poor little squirrel. I can quite easily do a her and reach out for these two babies through the screen. But I have to know this, did Frank finally manage those braces for Josephine? Why but he is precious!

    And what a beautiful and haunting note you conclude this with. If only the world could take it more to heart xx

    Like

    June 5, 2017
  28. Official Notice: I am now caught up with the archives, and I shall proceed to pontificate profusely in the comments, henceforth. Brace yourself… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    June 6, 2017
  29. Lovely post and cute photos. Thank you for stopping by and like my post. Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    June 7, 2017
    • Thank you Miriam (I love that name, incidentally) … I enjoyed yours too. Isn’t it lovely to be able to share with strangers ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      June 7, 2017
  30. What a lovely man. We need kindness of his sort, perhaps more than ever at the moment. And such a wise piece of prose, a fine observation x

    Liked by 1 person

    June 7, 2017
    • Thank you so much … I don’t think of myself as having much wisdom but I certainly think that Frank is an example to us all and I agree – his gentle kindness is very much needed now … more than usual. I do hope all is well with you whether you are hither or thither! X

      Like

      June 7, 2017
  31. I would love to meet ‘Frank’ someday!! One doesn’t find people like him easily these days! That picture of two munchkins, lovely! And Josephine, I would never imagined that name for a squirrel! But it’s really cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 7, 2017
    • Frank is pretty special and I feel very privileged to know him. Josephine is such a funny name for a squirrel – I’m not sure what I would call mine …. i shall have to give that some consideration!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 7, 2017
  32. What a sweet soul he has…..what a lucky little squirrel to have been found by him…Josephine….sounds perfect…glad to know your mum is a squirrel…LOL my daughter can not and will not kill any living creature….not even an ant….her and Frank must have the same love of animals….her cats just lived to be 17 years old and she did everything she could to make there last months the most comfortable….I told her if she takes care of me half as good as she did her kitties I am golden when I get old…LOL love the post, look forward to hearing more stories….xx

    Liked by 1 person

    June 8, 2017
    • Your daughter sounds very like Frank. Their’s is an example I will gladly follow. And I am certain she will be there for you with soft hands and kindness just the same when your time comes. Not very soon at all, by the way – we only just met so anytime in the next few decades is far to soon to lose you! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      June 8, 2017
  33. I seem to keep missing your post…Interesting post as usual and yes, we have to be more concerned about the environment and the animals that inhabit it. We have to be kinder to one another and pay more attention to our surroundings. On a different note, I think though that we don’t need to save the planet because the planet will adjust and survive (it did even when the dinosaurs became extinct) but we need to pay attention to what we do to the environment to save us the human race though sometimes I wonder if we are worth saving…(Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    June 8, 2017
  34. visited your blog, loved it, Here to stay and follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 10, 2017
    • Thank you so much …. i am delighted to welcome you and I will, of course, take a look at your work too – I tend to set a side a Sunday once a month so watch out for evidence of my presence sometime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 10, 2017
  35. I love Frank! We had a Mario squirrel that had to be renamed Marisol when I saw her swollen teats… I have a friend in England whose mother kept bread in the garage for the foxes and birds. Then the mice moved in. Now the original bread is in sealed boxes but there are still a slice or two for the mice.
    I hope the animal crazy people take over the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 10, 2017
    • Oh Kerry I hope so too! What a lovely name is Marisol by the way! And your friend’s mother … she should be Sainted. If we care for the planet then we should be caring for all our neighbours. Frank is a wonderful man. Many think him strange but how is it strange to not be so arrogant that we assume we have greater rights than other creatures?

      Liked by 1 person

      June 10, 2017
      • Our bug man told me how important termites were (they clear dead wood) but even he shudders at our giant cockroaches…๐Ÿ˜Ž

        Liked by 1 person

        June 10, 2017
      • Every creature has a purpose. But some of them do need to practice that purpose elsewhere …. for example les vriettes that are munching the beams in little house in France … I would honestly prefer them to find a nice woody stump to gnaw on and your giant cockroaches – perhaps they might take their purpose out of your house and into somewhere a little less um, offensive! This incidentally is why I am not a Buddhist nun!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2017
      • LOL! I have bloodied knuckles like a fist fighter because I rescued a 2 inch wasp yesterday. It started buzzing as I was releasing it, then I panicked and scraped the wall with my knuckles. Sigh. It is really hard being St Frances. ๐Ÿ˜‡

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2017
      • My cousins son would be so proud of you though …. he is doing a PhD on a particular genus of wasp that has barely evolved. He’s an ardent Darwinian and this little buzzer is key to proving Darwin’s evolutionary theory or so Patrick postulates. I’m sorry about your knuckles but the cause is good Saint Kerry ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        June 11, 2017
  36. “Your mother? Is a squirrel?” and the vivid description of your reaction gave me such a good, much needed laugh! And those 2 squirrels of yours definitely look healthy and well prepared for the longest of winters. I like their tailor made perches upon which they appear very content.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 11, 2017
    • I’ve been longing to use that exchange for a long time … so glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 11, 2017
  37. This is the first blog post I’ve read in a while Osyth and what a lovely way to start my day.. A strange coincidence as when my mother in law (who’s funeral is today) had a couple of mice take home in her bungalow 2 years ago.. she ‘made friends’ with them and absolutely loved them. I have to say though that when the 2 became many, we did have to get help to remove them..humanely!…. And since we’ve been staying at the bungalow over the last few weeks, we have 2 seagulls who arrive daily each morning and come and knock on her conservatory door for their morning treat! Bless her and bless you Osyth for giving me this lovely memory at the start of my day..
    xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    June 13, 2017
    • Go softly today all of you, celebrate a wonderful life and a beautiful spirit. I shall raise a little glass to your mummy-in-law later for she possessed exactly the kind of soul that I believe we need in plenty in this world of ours. xxx

      Like

      June 13, 2017
  38. Hello, My friend. I’m having a stressfull day here in the US of A. Shootings in Washington started the day. The world is in quite a tempest, to be sure. We are in a terrible quagmire and I’m not sure who will survive and not be be pulled under by all of this.I
    ‘m trying to get a final proof for the book, as the launch date approaches. But errors abound and I’m dealing with it as best I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2017
    • What I actually wanted to say, but went off on a tangent was: this was a lovely respite from the stress. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

      June 14, 2017
      • I’m so glad you enjoyed it … Frank seems to have struck a chord with many which heartens me rather more than a little. The Bean sends love to her partner across the waves and I send the same to you all x

        Liked by 1 person

        June 14, 2017
    • It’s a sorry mess and I really don’t know what the end can be. I don’t write apocalyptic stories …. but my fairydust sprinkler is getting very tired. Try to shut out the noise and concentrate on your book. We won’t change the world with our prose (well, you might) but we can make people smile a bit and that in itself is surely a tiny panacea for the mass self-destruction course that the few that hold the cards seem intent on sending us down. Bon courage my dear and lovely friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 14, 2017
  39. Oh my, Fiona! I like grown people like Frank who have a childlike love of creatures. ๐Ÿฟ Your own well-fed squirrels are luscious and plumply. His openness and sweet nature are gifts to share. It must be so heartwarming to be in his presence.

    My view of life is we are all here for a reason, balancing and keeping a continuity going.
    I have only seen a little of Zeffirelli’s film, since it came out while I was in high school and have missed the ending. I’ll check out if the library has it. I used to crush a bit on Donovan! Thanks for a long ago film which reminded me of how special people can lift us all. Mother Theresa was another one who in such a humble way served humanity, asking for nothing.
    St. Francis’ legend was as a man who drew animals towards him through his gentle spirit. The current Pope Francis seems kind and caring about the earth and its inhabitants, great and small. We may take comfort in those simple souls still existing here amongst us, as Frank lives.
    Thanks for sharing the news of Frank and also, the Josephines. Give your precious mother news of all those knowing a unique Josephine. My “Jo” was born with a cleft palate and an incomplete foot. She taught me a lot at age 15, being open and trusting, showing me all of the Cape Ann (Massachusetts) area, living close to where I stayed the summer of ’72. I could hardly keep up with Her! Be safe and careful when around groups of people, dear. ๐Ÿ•Š โค

    Liked by 1 person

    June 17, 2017
    • I had a crush on Donovan too … in fact I named my bike after him slightly bizarrely. Pope Francis is a man in a million in my opinion and exactly what the Church needs as it’s leader. Your Josephine sounds quite wonderful. As it happens Frank arrives here in Grenoble tomorrow. I am fairly certain he will be befriending the little red squirrels that live in the trees here!

      Like

      June 18, 2017
  40. Oh, Osyth! You made me laugh sooo much! So, your mother is a squirrel, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually I think my mum would love to be one, as would I, apart from the constant fear of birds and prey and such. Just to be able to race along the branches like it were a highway!
    Frank sounds like a wonderful man, and I think I know his “brother”, living in my neighborhood and being friends with all animals, his name is Paul ๐Ÿ™‚ I meet him quite often in a nearby park when feeding the ducks or squirrels, and in his case even the rats! He lives in a tiny flat and shares it with his cats and every mouse that happens to come along and survives any cat attack, invites in spiders, moths and wasps, and generally is friend to every creepy crawly on earth. Heยดs not very fond of people either, although he does get along with them as soon as he knows them better – it took quite a while for my mum and me to befriend him ๐Ÿ˜‰ Heยดs a lovely man too and has a great sense of humor.
    Those grey squirrels you fed in America just look gigantic! Cute, but really, really big – Iยดm not sure if I would dare petting them like I do with the red ones around here ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thank you for sharing this lovely story about a lovely man an his love for animals with us! Have a fantastic weekend! Much love! xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    June 23, 2017
    • In fact Frank was here in Grenoble for the week (he flew home to the US today) and joined us at a little soirรฉe we through last night. My eldest daughter is staying and he said to her ‘I remember that your Grandmother has something in common with my squirrel …’ My daughter gaped and he then laughed and said ‘just the name, I believe – she is also called Josephine’. Paul sounds EXACTLY like him and to be absolutely cherished. The grey squirrels are mighty large. Sometimes they are black and they remind me of really muscly heavyweight boxers! We do get little red ones too and here they are all red. I have to rein The Bean in – she thinks they appreciate her chasing them ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Much love to you and have your own fantastic weekend. It is always lovely to hear from you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      June 24, 2017
      • Haha! Would have loved to see your daughterยดs face when he said that! ๐Ÿ˜€
        Really muscly heavyweight boxers is just perfect!!
        Hehe, I can very well imagine The Bean should think so! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love & hugs!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 25, 2017
      • Xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        June 25, 2017

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