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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

If You Give a Squirrel an Apple

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

The title character in If You Give a Moose a Muffin, by Laura Numeroff, is a very distractable moose.

In the story, a moose visits a boy who offers him a muffin. The moose loves the muffin, and he asks for some jam. Eating the blackberry jam leads to the moose eating all the muffins and then wanting to go to the store to buy more muffin mix. But it's cold outside, so he asks to borrow a sweater. The sweater has a button missing, so he asks for a needle and thread to sew one on.

This leads him to remember his grandmother's puppet shows, so he asks for materials to make sock puppets, then asks for materials to make a puppet stage, and ends up getting covered in paint. He washes off with a sheet, cleans it, and then goes outside to hang it on the line to dry. And sees a blackberry bush. This brings the moose back to why he was going to the store--to buy more muffin mix.

So what would happen if you gave a squirrel an apple?

On Thanksgiving Day, I put out four pieces of fresh apples for Bertrand before we left to be with our families.

And the answer to my question was -- not a thing.

Those apple pieces sat there for two days, untouched. I looked it up before leaving the apples and verified that squirrels indeed like apples, so I wondered why they weren't gone.

A couple of days ago, since he didn't care for the apples, I wondered if he would like something different, so I gave him a small bowl of dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts.

Bertrand is usually a late-morning arriver who shows up around 9:30-10 a.m. for breakfast. But this little guy has found himself a buffet and is now showing up at dawn to eat his peanuts.

I couldn't even get a decent picture of him because it was still so dark outside, but later in the morning, there he was, sitting next to the little gray bowl that we spent $3 on at IKEA to serve him in style.

Bertrand has something to look forward to each morning, so he's excited to show up and start the day.

Take a look at this video from Steve Harvey.

"You're gonna be sheer greatness

because you've learned how to wake up."

Editors have a different life than authors. While our names may appear in the acknowledgment section of a book, they do not show on the front cover. Our picture is not the one on the back of the jacket. Editors are behind-the-scenes, and this is where I like to remain.

But still, editors need something to look forward to every morning; a reason to feel it's going to be a great day.

Freelancing as an editor is hard work. It's constantly building your business, enhancing your skills, and chasing after clients until you get established enough that they seek you out. When the ratio of proposals you send compared to the number of jobs you're landing could be more positive, having something to look forward to every day and feeling like it's going to be a great day can be challenging.

But not today.

Today, I have three new books on my bookshelf.

Two of these books I edited.

The third one, I was a beta reader.

The feelings I had seeing these books in print for the first time were the same as the author's.

I had a hand in making this great.

Yes, it is hard work, but when you see the fruits of your labor, it makes waking up the next morning and genuinely saying, "It's going to be a great day," very real.

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