I used to like squirrels
For many years I thought squirrels were cute little critters. In college I’d share my crackers with them when they came close by to beg. Oh so cute they were.
Then came the day when I didn’t find them so amusing. My granddaughter planted a sun flower seed. She watered it, nurtured it and was so proud when it grew nice and big. Then one day she went onto the screened in porch where we lived in Florida and screamed that the squirrels were eating her plant. Within minutes, she had no flower left.
She hates squirrels.
So, okay, that was bad enough. Then they started to eat my flowers, too. Nice big hibiscus flowers were shredded by their little mouths. And then they ate the metal around my neighbor’s chimney and managed to get into their house.
I had mostly forgotten about these incidents after we moved from that neighborhood. We bought this house which is on an acre, and had to do a lot of remodeling. One of the many things that needed replacing was the screen on our back porch. Four years went by with no problems.
One day a bird was on our back porch. I am not a bird fan—especially when they invade my space. We found a small hole in the screen and my husband patched it. Then we found what looked like some sort of droppings around the porch.
Soon the patch was eaten. We knew we couldn’t blame that on birds. Each time we patched a spot, another hole appeared elsewhere. We finally put bricks in front of the holes. Our neighbor is a wild life officer. He came and looked at it and said, “Squirrels. They are eating your screen. The only thing to keep them from doing this is to put moth balls around.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about the smell of moth balls. But we took my old knee highs, filled them with the smelly stuff, and pinned them to the screen. It looked ugly and it smelled worse. Well, except to my young granddaughter, Hurricane Emma. “Oh, that smells good.” She’s a strange child. We also found the squirrels had taken Hurricane Emma’s bathing suit off the towel pole and made a nest in a flower pot.
Things went well for a while. They left us alone. Until grandson Noah took one of the bricks which still cover the holes and moved it. The season was warm, not hot, so we could open the sliding glass doors and enjoy the nice weather.
But it happened again. Squirrel found hole. Squirrel came onto the back porch. Zeus, the schnauzer, was on porch while the other dogs were outside barking at something, which turned out to be a squirrel climbing on the screen. Think of Zeus as the great white hunter. He is always looking for moles or whatever to kill—or maybe it’s lions. He caught the squirrel who otherwise would’ve been in our house causing havoc.
I’m happy to say I didn’t have to see this. My husband took care of it. And Zeus, our cowardly leo lion dog, was so proud of himself. After all these years of treeing the squirrels, he was able to say, “Huh! Got cha!”
I’d say this would be a good children’s story, except there are those who would say I was being cruel and inhumane to animals. I’d just have to blame it on Zeus.
Wonder if I can use a killer squirrel in my next story!