One of the most interesting intercultural experiences you can have in Germany is to discover ... a squirrel in your dining room. In all the German cities I have visited I saw squirrels in the parks and in people's gardens. And when we moved to Germany I caught glimpse of a squirrel in the trees of our garden early in the morning. But I didn't expected her to be such a friendly little neighbor and come to meet us in our house, one Sunday afternoon while we were cooking in the kitchen. She climbed to the walls trying to make her way out. I bet she was as surprised as we were.
After discovering that she was a risk-taking little animal, we tried to make friends with her and we offered her some nuts. We bought her nuts then went to the garden and placed the treats under the trees.
Close to our house there is a beautiful hazel tree. At the time we met our squirrel it was the hazelnut season so each time we passed by, we collected some hazelnuts that had fallen down the tree and brought them to the squirrel. She seemed to have a big appetite because each day we found the place empty. My daughter was so happy that the squirrel ate what we have prepared for her. I made her a little card with the image of a squirrel and each day she pointed out outside with the squirrel's image in her hand followed by a "mniam mniam" (meaning "eating"). She wanted to go outside and see if the squirrel came and ate the nuts and hazelnuts.
We saw her many times eating the treats and taking some for her winter stocks.
Our adorable squirrel
Two weeks ago we went to Romania for holidays and in my mother's garden there is a huge hazel tree. So we decided to bring our squirrel some fresh hazelnuts from Romania. Each morning we went to the garden and picked up some of those who have fallen down from the tree. At the end of the hollidays, we packed them carefully in our luggage and brought them with us.
Back home, first thing in the morning, we went to our garden to bring to our squirrel the delicious Romanian hazelnuts.
In the Montessori pedagogy, children learn to observe and interact with nature in a natural way. They also learn to respect the environment and take care of the living creatures. I'm so grateful that the opportunity of learning how to take care of others came naturally through the encounter with the squirrel of our neighborhood. An intercultural and a Montessori experience at the same time- a perfect combination ;)