Kathleen Norton

Squirrel Wars

Posted on: February 17, 2010

Fresh from the squirrel tanning booth

There I was, glued to the kitchen TV set and Oprah.

There he was, shouting, “I will not be defeated!’’ and glaring out at the bushy-tailed terrorist who brazenly had emptied the winter birdfeeder day after day.

“Hey, I’m watching Oprah here,’’ I barked.

“Hey, I’m at war here,’’ he barked back. That’s when it hit me.

Forget the TV. The real show was right in front of my face:  Squirrel Wars, starring my husband and a tiny backyard beast.

Sure, the man didn’t look like he was in the middle of battle, not with a NY Mets baseball cap on his head and some old running shoes on his feet.

But in his hands, he carried evidence of his latest skirmish behind enemy lines: The remains of two large plastic garbage bags, chewed to bits at one end by the enemy out in the yard.

Ah, this is what we empty nesters of the Northeast do in the winter months when the cold and ice won’t let up and when the greens on golf courses look more like skating ponds.

We amuse ourselves with ballroom dancing lessons. We pretend we can keep up with Facebook. And we fight off critters that get too close to hearth and home.

I must give credit to our squirrel. He had destroyed all the barriers that had been put in his way before. It only made sense that he would figure out a way through some plastic bags.

But my warrior practically invented DIY. Plus, he rejects any plan that might cost real money. So he had taken a double layer of bags, tied them around the feeder and figured the pole would be too slippery to climb.

His anti-squirrel bagging device worked for a few days. Then we spotted a little hole in the top of the bags.

The next day, it was a bigger hole and the enemy was shimmying around inside, up and down the wooden pole, eating birdseed and having a grand ol’ time. And the bags that were supposed to keep him out became his wind block after he was inside them.

It was like a squirrel tanning booth in there, what with the sun beating down on the plastic and all. When the squirrel poked his head outside the hole, he looked relaxed, bronzed, triumphant.

That left my husband stomping around the kitchen with the chewed up bags, a head full of steam, and an annoyed wife who was just trying to get her Oprah fix.

He vowed right then and there to take off the kid gloves.

He even took his wallet out of the vault and went to the hardware store to buy a contraption that will feed the birds and repel the squirrel at the same time.

Looks like it’s every man and rodent for himself.

By spring, my husband could be living in the yard and the squirrel could be lord of the manor. Until then, I’ve got a cure for cabin fever: A front row seat as my reasonable man morphs into a warlord armed with Hefty bags.

Go ahead Oprah. Let’s see you top that.

This column was first published in February edition of Hudson Valley Magazine. http://www.hvmag.com/


6 Responses to "Squirrel Wars"

So we’ll move over for the squirrel. And P.S. you do keep up with facebook!

I think he follows us around.

I love the squirrel sauna !! So good of the warrior to provide personal spa treatments for rodents in the neighborhood.

There’s a problem with running a squirrel spa….they are bad tippers.

Have any leftover flying saucers? Same war going on at our house!

Strangely, the squirrel is lying low. Must have relocated over there.

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