The Squirrel

20 Sep

The wedding is over, and my dad and his new wife have gone off for a relax in Portugal. I am therefore home alone. Bliss.

Embracing my new-found status, I went to the supermarket on my lunch break and purchased some yummy food to keep me going for the week, then heading back to the house to put the things in the fridge and put my washing on the line. Kittenis horriblis made a dash for the back door, and started scraping around in the flowerbeds, so I left her to it. Until I heard what sounded like death screams. Worried that I had killed fluff in the first day of her being left in my parentage, i rushed outside to find her playing with a metal box.

THE SQUIRREL TRAP. To give you some background, my beloved father has a squirrel problem. I don’t really see it as a problem, they’re cute and they run around in the garden like an urban Bambi, chasing the pigeons and eating the nuts. My father’s problem, on the other hand, is the squirrel. Dad feels that the food he has set out for the birds shouldn’t be eaten by the squirrels, and therefore has a vendetta. To be fair, Sammy the squirrel doesn’t exactly make his life easier, mocking him by shimmying down the nut feeder and generally being a cheeky nuisance. But what is it with middle-aged (sorry dad) people, and squirrels? My mum, who normally loves things, turns a bit weird upon seeing animals in her garden, has a slingshot to chase the cats and squirrels out of her garden, and has been known to put Vaseline on her nut feeder so that when Sammy makes it to the feeder, he slides off and lands on the floor. Poor thing.

So kitten was scrabbling round the death trap, and I was so concerned that she has hurt herself and was going to spend the rest of the afternoon in kitty A&E, that I went shooting over to rescue her. But when i got there I was surprised to see a horrible sight, the most scared little squirrel in the world, desperately trying to get out of the trap, and obviously calling all his friends to come and save him. God knows how long he had been there, but he was petrified. Ushering Rosie into the house, I went back, not really knowing what to do. I have always thought they were quite cute, but my dad drowns them. DROWNS THEM. This really bothers me. If a bear or suchlike tried to drown him, he wouldn’t be very pleased. And what gives him the right to drown another living thing? It probably has a wife and kids somewhere, waiting for him to come back with some of the nuts, as they are on the poverty line. Who knows?

So I struggled with my conscience, knowing dads warnings of ‘they’re vicious darling, when you get near them’ and decided to risk it anyway. I went back inside, lost the flip-flops and put on some hard-wearing boots and dads gardening gloves (I looked like a slightly insane gardener) and went back to the squizz. I held the trap in one hand, and dramatically executed a SAS style move, kicking the trap open and away from me, and therefore saving the squirrel.

And it ran. Like something you had never seen before. It had obviously heard the story of the squirrel killer, and saw its life flash before him, like me when watching any of the Saw films.
Feeling proud of myself, I text dad to tell him that Sammy and Laura had prevailed, and he had lost. Squirrel 1, Daddy 0.

And guess what? He had the cheek to get cross. Luckily he is in Portugal, so the crossness got lost over the distance, but how very dare he???!

I offered to look after the kitten, not become a Hitler style squirrel Nazi, wiping out wildlife all over the show. I may be helping him out, but I refuse to be an accomplice in the murder of innocent squirrels all over the garden, and with the other option being leaving him to starve there in the trap for an entire week, screaming like he had his throat cut until dad decided to come back, was just as bad an option. So Sammy, you live to see another day. God speed.


11 Responses to “The Squirrel”

  1. rantonit March 10, 2011 at 3:31 am #


  2. barb19 July 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Loved your story and I would have saved the squirrel too – good on ya!

  3. natureintheburbs October 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    Squirrel rescue, very funny. My dad greased the pole the birdfeeder was on to make sure the squirrels couldn’t get to it too!

  4. apronheadlilly October 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    I tried to do the humane thing (Can it be humane if it’s a squirrel?) and do the catch and release thing. All I caught were very irate birds, who apparently love peanut butter! The squirrel ate my tomatoes, is very healthy lives on, and is FREE!

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    • tinkerbelle86 October 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

      i like squirrels. they are like rats, but with afros. 🙂

  5. Tanja July 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    omg, love this piece! i am a true fan of squirrels, how can you not love them? but I understand there are ppl who simply dislike them (and cats and dogs and all other cute animals, or animals in general).anyway, really funny!!!

  6. joeyfullystated February 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Whatta riot!

  7. Paul April 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Great post Tinkerbelle! I too love squirrels – but there are those who do not. I worked with an elderly gentleman, Frank, who was 80 at the time and still going strong (he designed store displays). He told the best stories and one day expounded on his battle with squirrels in his large, treed back yard. He was not an unkind man, so he used humane traps and when the squirrels were safely ensconced, he would drive them to the edge of town and release them in the forest. Frank’s wife was a part of his motivation for removing suirrels as she (like your Mum) loved and fed the birds. The squirrels , of course, got more than their fair share of the birdseed. Sooo, one summer Frank estimated he had about 12 squirrels living on the largess of his wife. He started trapping squirrels and continued for most of the summer. Curiously there never seemed to be a lessening of their numbers and Frank suspected that new squirrels were moving in as the others left (they do sem a bit territorial). Until….one day he recognized one of the squirrels (which had a small kink in its tail) as having been trapped before. That’s when he started thinking – and after doing some math, realized he had, over the summer, trapped and relocated 47 squirrels and still had 12 left – the same amount he started with. So, not to be out manoeuvered, he put a small red dot of non-poisonous paint on the next squirrel he caught and relocated. The next day, sure enough, the dotted squirrel was back. It seems the squirrels were getting into the trap to eat the bait (which was, apparently quite yummy to them), going for a ride out of town, and then running back to Franks yard for more. Not wanting to harm the squirrels, Frank threw up his hands in resignation and worked instead on trying to make the bird feeder squirrel proof.

    • prenin April 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      Oh Paul! 🙂

      I’m still laughing at this one!!! 🙂

      We have squirrel problems here too as they can outrun most of the local cats and you can tell a squirrel is around when the cats walk by and you hear them making alarm calls!!!

      We had a variety of fruit trees (The plum tree blew over a few years back) so there’s plenty of cherries to eat and the grass around the trees is usually littered with seeds!!!

      You can often see the little buggers going from garden to garden looking for bird feeders, so I can certainly relate!!! 🙂

      God Bless!



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