Museum Gardens - a Memory of York.

The Museum Garden was something of a treat when my mother took my three nieces and my nephew and myself to the Museum Garden. There were some peacocks and peahens roaming about freely within the gardens, My Nnece Trudy was somewhat amazed when she saw the peacock fan its feathers, she made a remark saying that the feathers were beautiful and said out loud ''Please Mr Peacock would you please give me just one of your feathers!". Well, no sooner had she said that the peacock twisted its neck and pulled a feather out from its tail and dropped the feather less than four feet away from where we stood; Trudy was to cherish that feather for many years to come. We had been to York just for a day trip, this was in the summer of 1960. Then back in 1993 I moved over to York where I spent almost two years. I would spend as much time as I could within the Museum Garden. The reason for this was the fact that I saw some old lady whistling and shouting "Come on"; she was calling out to the squirrels whereupon they'd come in leaps and bounds, taking monkey nuts from out of her hand. I decided to go and buy some nuts to feed the squirrels, the nuts of which I was advised to buy were hazelnuts from the supermarket. No sooner had I managed to open the bag of nuts than there came three squirrels. One of them snatched a nut from out of my finger and then jumped high onto my shoulder. Not being quite used to the antics of these squirrels being so tame, I nearly jumped out of my skin; but knowing now that they were somewhat tame I realized that I could use these grey squirrels to my advantage! People would take snapshots of me with the squirrels perched upon my shoulders, cheekily getting into my jacket pockets and helping themselves to my nuts. Many of them had their own character where I began to recognise them as individuals I was to give them names, without a doubt they knew their names. Now the problem with these squirrels was that they were to be outlawed, and although they caused no harm every two or more years the council would cull about ten or even more squirrels which was sad really; because they'd come along in the breeding season and without mercy they'd often shoot directly into a dray (squirrel's nest) and without compassion shoot indiscriminately without focusing up on a squirrel; volley after volley .22 bullets would kill off the mothers and leave orphan baby squirrels. I was to take two orphans home and would feed them.

A memory shared by Roland Mitchell on Feb 19th, 2012.
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