Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Squirrels--3, Robin--1

I never minded squirrels that much. They didn't interest me, but they didn't bother me either. My grandma used to have a "pet" squirrel named Rags. It lived outside in their backyard, but it would take food right out of grandma's hands. But, on the other hand, I was somewhat entertained when my daughter's cat, P.C., killed and ate a squirrel. Squirrels...I could take 'em or leave 'em.

Last summer, I found two of my porch statues broken. They were part of a collection of robins that I have for obvious reasons. I was not happy. One had a sensor on it and chirped any time someone passed it. The other looked like a hanging nest and I put bird seed in it. Since they were on the porch, I assumed that my suspect list was short. My family had not done this heinous crime. There were no cats in the neighborhood at that time. Our dog only goes out in the front yard with supervision. And other than the mailman, there had been no strangers on the porch. Then I realized that squirrels were coming onto the porch and had been using our flower pots to hide their nuts. And so, the feud began.

I tried to run them over in the street, but the little buggers were too fast. My husband teased me about getting a potato gun to shoot them with. Any time I saw a squirrel, I chased it off. My husband almost lost the drink that came with his value meal one day when I returned from picking up lunch to find a squirrel on the porch. I looked around for something to hurl at it, but the only thing nearby was his drink cup. I considered it for a moment and decided that he would not understand the necessity. The kids were mortified one day when I pulled in the driveway and caught a culprit red-pawed, returning to the scene of the crime, digging in a flower pot. I threw the car in park, jumped out and ran towards the creature. It fled in terror at the sight of a wild-eyed housewife thundering toward it. I chased it across the yard to the neighbor's driveway, where it laid down on its tummy under the neighbor's boat, as though it were gloating that it not only got away, but was also out of my reach and could relax, leisurely. You could almost hear a little squirrelly voice saying, "Nanny nanny boo boo!" As I returned to the truck, the kids were looking at me cautiously, as if trying to decide if mom's cheese had slid off her cracker. Eventually, my 10-year-old daughter said, "Mom! The neighbors across the street were outside! And they saw you!" Apparently my obsessive vengeance had overtaken me because I really did not care that my neighbors witnessed my crazed rampage.

My husband and I happened upon more of the robin statues with the motion detectors while at Ace Hardware one day. They were on clearance, so we bought two: one to keep out on the porch (this time on the floor level, instead of at the tempting location of the railing, as before) and another to remain safely inside on the bookcase.

My mother-in-law teased me that she was surprised that when she checked my wishlist for my birthday, she didn't see a BB gun for use on the squirrels (I use for our birthdays and Christmases. I HIGHLY recommend it, especially for out of town friends and family! I wish everyone I knew used it!). I think I would enjoy shooting the little rats, but even though my aim is pretty good, I would probably end up breaking a neighbor's window, denting a car, or injuring someone's pet (although, I might enjoy taking a shot at the chihuahua across the street) so it might not be a good idea to arm me. Though something like a potato gun might be fun. Maybe I should get out my Nerf gun and see if I could amuse myself with that. Maybe I could at least put the fear of God into the filthy rodents if I came packing!

But, I digress. My mother-in-law came up to visit last week and when she went home, she picked up her cat from the vet and sent me this message: "I wanted you to know when I went to pick up Trooper, there was a huge meeting of the cousins of your arch nemesis in the yard (about 10) and I know I heard Robin mentioned so be careful...they are plotting to get you or your robin statue."

So, the other day, the children reported that they found the outdoor one had fallen off the porch and was broken. It wasn't shattered in a million pieces this time, but the base was broken off, exposing the electrical mechanics and part of that was separated, so that I don't think it will ever chirp again. Still angry, I was not as livid as the last time, so long as I had my backup in the house and this was still more or less intact. While it may not serve its primary function, it is still decorative.

Tonight, as I was driving the children to Awana at church, a squirrel ran across the main road and then stopped in my lane. It zigged, it zagged, it ran down the lane, but as I approached, it did not run to cross the street as they usually do. He froze and I would have just rolled harmlessly over him, with him nestled between the wheels. However, the dummy must have panicked and decided to run too late or too early because we felt a small "thump-thump". Arrena said, "You did it, mom! You killed one!" and we high-fived each other. Kimberly, however, wailed. "You killed a squirrel?! You are evil!" Eh, can't please everybody....

So, I have either sent a strong message to the squirrel world...or I have started a turf war.

1 comment:

TDM Wendy said...

That is funny. Our rescued squirrels are enjoying their nesting box that the 70 YO rescuers put up months ago in our backyard tree. So Kimberly would be happy.