A squirrel in Fargo, North Dakota, is really nuts for walnuts ― to the point where it collected 42 gallons of the snack and stored them in a local man’s Chevy Avalanche.
Bill Fischer said he came home from a four-day work trip earlier this month and discovered that his truck was filled with black walnuts, each roughly the size of a lime.
As his Facebook photos show, the walnuts were tucked into every nook and cranny of the Chevy, including the engine compartment and the fenders. Fischer removed enough to fill seven 6-gallon containers.
“I had to pull the fenders off and clean out all the walnuts out, and thought I had them all and took it down the road, turned the corner and found one rolling down the windshield where the wipers go,” Fischer told the Grand Forks Herald.
As nutty as this all might seem, it’s “nut” the first time this has happened.
Fischer said red squirrels have been using his truck to store walnuts from his neighbor’s tree every two years — the tree’s maturation cycle ― since 2013.
“I’ve got other vehicles that sit very close to that tree, and it’s always my truck,” Fischer told The Washington 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.”
Over the years, Fischer has learned how to deal with the squirrelly behavior. He knows when the walnuts fall off the tree, it’s time to check the engine. He’s also learned to wait until there are no walnuts left lying under the tree before commencing his cleanup.
“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,” Fischer told the Post.
Still, he wasn’t prepared for just how many nuts would be squirreled away this year.
“The squirrel set a record,” Fischer said. “Most I’ve ever pulled out was four or five 6-gallon buckets. This year was seven.”
Fischer had to remove the fenders from the truck to extract some of the nuts, which he is now offering to any human who wants them. “Much to the chagrin of the squirrel,” he’ll throw away any that aren’t claimed, he added.
But the squirrel’s cache won’t be completely gone.
“I have some rolling around the frame, rails wells as well, that I can’t get at,” Fischer told the Grand Forks Herald.