Posted by: Betsy Devany | June 30, 2013

A Writer’s Plea to the Neighborhood Squirrels

DSC00057Dear Mr. Squirrel,

Dear Mr. Squirrel and your girlfriend,

Dear Mr. Squirrel, your girlfriend, and your overly-curious offspring,

Dear Mr. Squirrel’s Entire Immediate Family, Extended Family, and Furry Friends,

I am a writer. I like to write early every morning. I like quiet at this time. No TV blaring. No lawn mowers rumbling and roaring. No uppity, clanking, rocking washing machines. No fighting cats. No barking dog. No ringing phone. No cell phone alerts that I have a new text or a new email or a Facebook notification. No wild creature disturbances.

DSC03831Which brings me to you, Mr. Squirrel, and your ever-growing community, which is also responsible for the recent destruction of my husband’s shed. Yes, we noticed the plastic siding torn from the sides of the building, the same plastic being used in your massive nests in our trees. You and your furry friends are also the reason we must restock bird seed on a daily basis. I will need to sell a book solely to support your current lifestyle in our yard.

Now I understand that you are hungry, and that you and your buddies view our property as a promising source of ongoing food. I understand that it is your nature to embrace perseverance. I admire this quality. Writers need to embrace a path of perseverance. Except when that path is riddled with noise and squirrel-influenced interruptions.

SONY DSCYes, our aged dog barks more frequently due to his recent loss of hearing. But you egg him on with your clever squirrel acrobatics: dangling from the tops of our squirrel-proof bird feeders. Leaping through the air from my husband’s woodpile, only to now plunge to the ground since he’s set it further away from the feeder after seeing my photographs.

Do you give up? No, of course not! Why should you? You’re a squirrel, and now your entire community is copying you. I might as well supply you with colorful costumes, a trampoline, and a tightrope. I can invite the media or shoot a video for YouTube, and then continually check my stats. Not happening. Though our granddaughter is nothing less than thrilled by this prospect and has designed tickets she wants me to print out so she can sell them to our neighbors.

SONY DSCI don’t have time to host a circus of squirrels in my backyard.

I’d rather write.

So for the past few weeks, I’ve kept the door to my writing room shut, put up a BIRD FEEDING ZONE sign outside, and tried to convince myself that Old Dog was not barking incessantly.

Until today.

Today, I heard a banging on my front door. It sounded like a person knocking. So I stopped mid-paragraph in an important revision, and headed down the hall, into the living room. There was an edge of anticipation. I am expecting a number of books. Books I am anxious to read.

I opened the front door and looked straight ahead.

No delivery person.

I looked down.

SONY DSCNo package left on the ground.

No anxiously awaited books.

Only two squirrels, one of which I presume was you, Mr. Squirrel.

And when I refused to invite you inside, not just because the dog was going nuts upon seeing your face pressed against the glass, you sat down. You stared at me, you and your friend or brother or sister or spouse or offspring. And then, as if you blew on a little whistle to call in your troops, squirrels imploded onto our front deck, grabbing our white railing. I watched you spring to the edge of our picture window, and then swing into our window bird feeder with your not-so-little friend.

SONY DSCTwo squirrels cannot squeeze together in the feeder. It is not a circus clown car.

And I did not appreciate watching my expensive bird feeder split in half as you two Numskulls forced your way free and crashed the feeder to the ground.

Lastly, it seems as if you have an identity crisis. You have taken to lounging in our porch chair for lengthy squirrel siestas, after which you drink from the hummingbird feeder. Which makes Old Dog bark until he passes out.

SONY DSCYou are not a hummingbird, Mr. Squirrel.

Please relocate immediately.

Signed,

A children’s writer seeking peace and quietDSC03813SONY DSC

SONY DSC


Responses

  1. My mom says they pick her tomatoes and then climb up on her deck railing, look in her kitchen window at her as she works at her table, and eats the red ripe fruit! They have also caused great damage to her roof. My mom was thrilled the day she saw a Great Horned Owl visiting in her backyard! 🙂

    • Wow, to see a Great Horned Owl in the backyard! Yes, those darn squirrels eat out tomatoes, too. They will also eat outdoor Christmas lights, except the white ones, for whatever reason. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Betsy

      • LOL! Too funny!!! My mom only has white Christmas lights so we’ve never had that problem!!

      • This made me laugh! Stick to the white lights!

  2. Betsy, this is hysterical! We haven’t had squirrel problems but raccoons and birds in our attic. The raccoons actually made it into one of my stories but I changed them to mice to make the story work better. (But they knew who I was writing about!) Best of luck with them.

    • I’d rather deal with outside squirrels. As annoying as they are, I can’t help but laugh at their antics.
      Funny how our life experiences find their way into our stories. Love how you changed the raccoons to mice.
      Happy writing and thanks for your comment!

  3. Oh, Betsy, funny, but…not so funny? It really is comical, except for the utter disruption and damage! lol Wow! You know, my father used to watch a particular squirrel and he knew his route: he would scurry across the wiring that led from the street pole to the front of our house, over the roof and onto a large tree in our backyard. He envisioned greasing the wire to see what would happen! lol

    Your bunch are REALLY brazen! I’m not sure selling tickets would be a bad idea. SOMEthing positive has to come out of it! lol Maybe a picture book? hehehe

    • Donna, I love the story about your dad and the squirrel.

      This bunch, which continues to grow in population, may very well end up in one of my books.
      Betsy

  4. Hi Betsy,
    I love this. We have many, many, squirrel families, so I can relate. This is so funny and creative. Really enjoyed it. karen

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Karen!
      If you have any advice for taming squirrels, let me know. Good luck with your furry families!
      Betsy

      • Hey, Betsy, come to think of it…do squirrels carry rabies?! Be careful! 🙂

  5. Ah, I feel your pain. We have some very noisy early-morning birds, but nothing like those squirrels!

    • Faith, I can share my squirrels with you, if you’d like! I am certain they wouldn’t mind relocating.

      Betsy

  6. Oh, you must have read Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Night Fairy, no? If not, you should find it. Besides being just incredible writing, the parts about the squirrel will definitely make you laugh!

    • I gave this as a gift to a friend. Amy is a brilliant writer. I will have to read again, as it’s been a few years. Thanks for reminding me!

  7. Oh my goodness this is hilarious. They are begging to be set in a story! Brazen little buggars!

    • Nancy, I am not laughing at the moment, seeing that our tube of bird seed is empty, once again. In addition, five squirrels are having a meeting on our back porch. Two are sitting in chairs, and I wonder if they are expecting me to serve them coffee and croissants. Especially since one baby just came up to our glass window and stared at me.

      Yes, I will need to write a marketable squirrel story to support them.

      Happy writing!


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