This one was great fun since Dolores chose a chart from one of my favorite designers, Prairie Schooler, as the basis for her piece. The chart is called Prairie Lodge and is an OOP Prairie Schooler leaflet. I chose to stitch the squirrel. Family legend has it that my first word was "quirrel" so it seemed most appropriate. I have always enjoyed watching the antics of these acrobatic little animals ... apparently from my earliest days sitting in a pram right down to the present. I feed both birds and squirrels from October through May and have never understood the dismay most other backyard bird lovers feel when the clever squirrels filch a small meal from the birdfeeders. If they get too greedy, I just set out a tray of peanuts for the squirrels alone. For the most part we see grey squirrels and a few chipmunks here in southern NYS ... but the past few years I have noticed a black squirrel ... no doubt a refugee from Mirkwood.
In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed stitching the squirrel. According to Patricia Andrle and Lesley Rudnicki, authors of Sampler Motifs and Symbolism, the squirrel symbolizes both frugality and a person who sows the seeds of dissension. There is a member of my family who has both these qualities ... to the nth degree ... and it always amuses me to think of this person as I stitch squirrels. But almost immediately, my Catholic guilt kicks in, causing me to be thoroughly ashamed of my uncharitable thoughts and prompting me to pray for patience in dealing with this person. A conscience is a most inconvenient thing, spoiling my fun and interfering with a little private indulgence in snide sanctimony. The good nuns did their job all too well! Damn!