Friday, May 22, 2020

The Squirrell Story - 2003

Story time. True. We lived in one house where we had squirrells in abundance and I decided to feed them all. "Bobby Peanuts" would forever be my name, and one long remembered by the squirrells as a Saint of sorts. Well, what do the say about the best laid plans, etc.....? I fear it to be true....

I bought 25 pound boxes of peanuts, raw. Put them by the sliding glass doors in the kitchen which opened to the porch and the woods. Every morning I would feed the squirrells, and they came by the score!

One morning I woke, went down to the kitchen and there they were, peeking in the door at the box of peanuts. I joked with Sue that this was cute. They were probably scheming on how to get in. What do they say about "many a thing said in jest, etc.....? Again, I fear it to be true.....

Fast forward a few weeks. I'm in bed, home from work and there  is a scampering in the attic. I realize it's the squirrells and I'm so happy! Like in the cartoons, a squirrell family safely in the attic for the winter. I slumber awhile, with a smile for my new housemates. What do they say about the best of intentions, etc....? And, once again, I'm about to find out just how true these sayings are....

Another fast forward, about 3 weeks. Snow's gone, spring has sprung, but my winter guests have now become permanent residents in my home. One has even found it's way into the fireplace and hijinx ensue when I have to chase him out of the house, all the while looking at the confusion in his innocent looking but beady little eyes.

It was at that moment I knew that they were working their way through the house, trying to find their way to the peanuts! Plus,by now Sue is aware that squirrells are chewing through walls, wires, etc., destroying our home for the sake of 25 pounds of peanuts. As the one who brought them into our home, I was now in charge of evicting them.

So, I contact a humane, live animal removal service to do the heartbreaking work for me. I'm figuring on bait trap cages, carry them out and set them free. Still another old saying about no good deed going unpunished is about to be poven true......

After 2 weeks we have not caught a single squirrell, and they're still coming and going from the trees to the roof and into the attic. So,the humane animal control guy sets up a trap to prevent them coming in anymore.

The very first night a squirrell is trapped by his tail and left hanging upside down to die. I call the animal removal guy and he says to leave it hang there for a week so the other squirrells get the message.

Now, our house looked something like the gates to the city of London around 1450. They used to leave the corpses of recently impaled, or otherwise similarly executed persons, hanging there as a warning to other would be knaves. Only this time it was for the squirrells!

The whole thing came to an end when we had a carpenter and roofer come over to recap the screens on the chimney and repair all the damage they had done inside the attic. And of course I was forced to stop feeding the squirrells.....

Saturday, May 2, 2020


My world is pretty small these days. Still, I manage to have some amazing things happen to me in this reduced sphere. Take the squirrels as an example.

We moved in here 1 year ago this week. In that  time we've  had deer and all kinds of birds. Then came the squirrels. And of course I have to feed them. And then I need to have one eat from my hand, Central Park style. It took over 8 months but I did it.

One now eats from my hand daily. Just wraps his lips around the peanut and we both let go at the same time. He doesn't tug at all, and never uses his teeth. It's a wonderful feeling of connection as we look right into one another's eyes. They don't  carry rabies so you're risking only a nip.

Now that was cool enough but today he slipped and his paw touched my finger as he got his nut, and we both just looked at one another and then he left. Came back about 4 PM and this time I held my finger out and he took it while he got the nut. It's such a cool feeling because these ain't New York squirrells. Such a light  touch, I can see how he gets around so quickly. Pretty cool , huh?

Sue was there and almost got a picture. We'll keep trying!