18 Oct SQUIRREL!
I hate squirrels. Really, really hate them. Not all squirrels, mind you. Just the ones that like to hang out on my deck, dig up my recently planted bulbs, and tear up my beautifully potted, not inexpensive perennials. These squirrels, the ones that think they have the right to invade my outdoor living space, I have declared war on. (If you are a squirrel lover, please stop reading now and rejoin us next week when this blog space will once again be occupied by a more pastoral, “love all of God’s creatures” voice. I am thinking only of you, dear reader, trying to spare you unnecessary pain.)
For years my family has roared with laughter watching me chase squirrels off the deck with a broom. Somehow, despite the relative frequency of this event, they never cease to find humor in it, nor cease to make fun of me for it. This has not deterred me. My point of view is, “I don’t run uninvited into the squirrels’ space, using their home as a hiding place for my winter supplies and making a mess in the process. Why should they be allowed to get away with such rude behavior?”
And it’s not just their boorish behavior. Equally egregious is their insolent attitude. Just this morning a squirrel was sitting on the railing of the deck, doing undisclosed squirrel business, and it looked straight at me with nothing short of a taunting, “you can’t catch me” smirk on its face. I grabbed the broom and let me tell you, his tail was flying. I want him to go back to Squirrel Land and tell all his friends about the crazy lady at the end of the row. I want a reputation.
I really went all out on planting pots, hanging baskets, and getting bulbs into the ground this year. After all my hard labor, it wasn’t two days before I had unsightly, gaping holes in my perfectly formed plant mounds and fresh potting soil scattered all over the place. Clearly, I was going to have to step up my game. I polled friends and neighbors. I looked at garden magazines. I finally broke down and just googled it which led me to the discovery of cayenne pepper. Friends, it is pure Squirrel War gold. They hate the smell! Sprinkle some in each pot, and squirrels avoid you like the plague. Best of all, a huge jar of it is $3.99 at Costco. I bought two. And I bought a big jar of red pepper flakes for $2.99, just for good measure.
I cannot begin to describe the delirious joy, the unmitigated thrill of having my thriving plants undisturbed by marauding intruders. I eat my breakfast looking out on the deck and cannot help but smile. I sit outside in the swing, reading or writing or sipping a cup of mocha. Pure bliss. I think I may finally even replace my broom since I am no longer slapping it against decking, fence posts and the storage shed.
Perhaps someday I will learn to appreciate squirrels. (That is, however, unlikely to ever be true of snakes.) I’m sure they serve some positive ecological good. I just want them to serve it somewhere besides my flower beds. And I apologize if you think I’ve gone nuts. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
Yours for the Kingdom,