Last night, as we watched TV in the den, there was this harsh noise outside the window. It was dusk and a time when, predictably, hundreds of different kinds of birds, bushy-tailed gray squirrels and even a family of lovely skunks once in a while seem to come out to celebrate life on the hill. Usually, the only noises you hear at dusk come from animals, and for some folks like me, it is the purest of symphonies.
So when I was jarred at the loud noise outside, I quickly flung the curtains open to investigate. Here is what I witnessed. There were four large squirrels in tandem, knocking an empty bird feeder against a huge tree trunk over and over, and they were also knocking the holy tar out of each other. It was easy to see they were taking out their rodent wrath on their brethren.
I watched in fascination as each one raced up the tree trunk, jumped from there to the electric pole, shinnied down to the ground and grabbed the closest relative and knocked the life out of him. Over and over, they rolled on the ground toward the original tree trunk, screeching at each other in the most low-class manner. I couldn't imagine any young adult of any species behaving in any such way. I mean, where was their mother when they were young?
The thing was, the feeder was flat empty, and if they'd just stopped for a moment, they would've seen that. But no, just like all temper tantrums of any species, they couldn't see past their anger. Maybe they weren't looking for food after all. Maybe they needed an excuse to fight, just like many humans.
One of my friends suggested two more possibilities as to what was happening. Maybe they were all boys and were just roughhousing, or maybe there were two boys and one girl, and they were - um - dealing with hormones, if you know what I mean.
No matter what was causing such mayhem, I knew I didn't want to watch it, so I closed the curtains and went back to trying to choose who would be booted out of the Big Brother House. Of course, I realized the two scenarios were very similar and in very poor taste. Whether emotional or physical, I abhor all violence, and I wish these squirrels would move on to someone else's yard.
The view from the hill is wondrous.