He was named “Bushy” on account of his tail; no Squirrel, I am sure, ever had a finer one. He lived in a cage at first, but the door was always left open, so that Bushy did not feel he was a captive at all. He took great pleasure in running up the lace curtains of the drawing-room windows, upon the cornices of which he spent a great deal of his time, always taking his nuts up there to eat. At length he concluded to give up his cage and live up there altogether. He would build a nest, but where to find the twigs, wool, and feathers for it sorely puzzled Mr. Squirrel.
One day he scampered up to the top of the house, and in the attic found some cast-off finery of the housemaid. It was hard work for the little fellow to carry a night-cap, or an old pocket handkerchief, or an old stocking in his mouth down two sets of stairs, but it was the best material he could find, and Bushy was determined to build a nest. As well as he could, he jumped from one step to another all the way, with his mouth full, at one time a yard or more of ribbon streaming behind him. In this his feet got entangled, tumbling him over and over, so he stopped and with his fore-paws neatly packed it into his mouth before going further. Sometimes, after all his hard work, Bushy would find the dining-room door closed, so he would have to sit outside very patiently till it was opened. The moment he was admitted, up the curtain he would climb with his material, often dropping it two or three times before reaching the top. It was a very wide, old-fashioned cornice, with a great space behind, and here the nest was built. The old caps, ribbons, and odds and ends were woven into a very large, long-shaped nest, lined with bits of the dining-room door-mat on which he had been so often compelled to wait. At last all was finished, and Bushy moved up into his new house, never again sleeping in his cage. During the day he would descend for his food, which he carried up to his house to eat, then down again to frisk and play about. I am sure Bushy’s master was very glad he left the cage door open, for how could the little fellow have shown such intelligence, or been happy, cooped up behind wires all day long?
by Author Unknown: as published in “Birds and All Nature,” (August 1898), Volume IV, Number 2