What in this wide world was in my back yard up by the barn two days ago? Gene saw it first and called me to “come look.” And there it was, a critter that looked to be a little shorter than me. He (?) had a small head, a slender body and a long, bushy tail. His color? I don’t know. Grayish reds, maybe.
I stood at the dining room window watching him walk up the driveway towards the barn. Suddenly, he stopped cold, eyes “fixed” on something he deemed as dinner just off the path. I watched him hunker down, freeze and then leap and grasp.
He proudly made his way through the tall overgrowth and away from my property. I guess he wanted to dine in peace.
Ugh! You know, when I went back to grad school to study animal behavior, I almost had to drop out altogether because the predator-prey deal made me physically ill. It still does today. The difference is now I am old and have, hopefully, acquired some wisdom about things.
All living creatures must eat and, except for humans and domesticated animals, that means catching and killing. I know this. Case closed.
So, what was that critter right in plain sight of day? It seemed too big for a fox, too small for a coyote, so what? One of the joys — truly — of living way out here is the opportunity of watching nature act out in its natural setting.
Which brings me back to what I have, for years, been yelling about. I have had and still have what I assume are thousands of nasty-acting squirrels living in my attic. They are not appreciative of having a dry, warm, safe, free home. They pay no attention to what time it is (thus brawling at midnight).
They stomp on the floor above my bed, they use terrible language (or I think it’s terrible), they throw things at each other, and all this goes on until I am thoroughly awake and angry. Finally they must crash up there.
Now, being the incurable animal lover that I am, I don’t want them dead. I do, most assuredly want them gone. No more free-lodging.
I am out of town and, during this time, they must realize that nobody (i.e.. me) was whacking the ceiling with a long stick and screaming at them to “get the .... out of there!” Therefore, they have settled in for a rest until all the babies are born in March right here in my free ob-gyn!
Well, baby, I have had it. I think I have found a man who claims he will live-trap all million of them and release them somewhere far, far away from here. Then, after he cleans up the inevitable mess up there, he will find all passageways in and out of my attic and close them. I pray he does this ASAP before I go berserk. By the way, several have said its not even squirrels but rather, raccoons or even birds. I still think its squirrels. I will keep you posted.
The view from the hill is wondrous, even in spite of this saga.
A special note: Jean just sold her 19th story to Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. As of 2010, she held the record of the most work featured in Chicken Soup publications. Her latest story is “The Kindness of Strangers.”