After living in our formerly squirrel-free neighborhood for the last 10 years, a fox squirrel finally moved into our backyard about three months ago. He spent the first two months poking his nose into all the different backyards on our block, checking them out for nice trees to sleep in, non-aggressive dogs and cats, and good things to eat. Checking out the neighborhood, you might say. Since we all have wooden fences around our yards, the 2×4 fence tops provided easy pathways for those nimble feet to hop from yard, to yard, to yard, to yard, and back again.
At the end of the first two months, Squirrel finally picked out a yard to call his home. Our yard.
My wife, Lois, thinks it has something to do with the fact that she had grown a row of 14-foot tall sunflowers down the middle of her garden box. (A little bit taller and we could climb up and look for the giant!) I guess I couldn’t argue with that. Not after I looked out the window one morning, just in time to see Squirrel making a suicidal leap from the fence (a distance of about 5-feet) to the nearest giant sunflower blossom (16-inches in diameter!), so he could hang upside down from his back feet and munch fat, juicy sunflower seeds for an hour.
Now it’s winter. I cut down all the sunflowers since they were pretty much ravaged by Squirrel and the scrub jays. Squirrel now spies on the scrub jays to find out where they bury the peanuts my neighbor feeds them from a big blue bowl on her back deck. Then he digs them back up and buries "his" peanuts in a new spot. His spot. The scrub jays, of course, have also been spying on Squirrel, and dig their peanuts right back up and bury them again in another new spot. Their spot.
I going to have to wait and see how this all plays out. These peanuts may turn out to be the most-buried peanuts of all time. I’ll have to check and see if the Guinness Book of World Records has a "Most Buried Peanuts" category.
In the meantime, the scrub jays are sitting on top of the giant black metal ant on the picnic table on our back deck and glaring at me through the window. My cats, Tut and Newman, turn around and glare at me every time they look out the back window and see the squirrel hopping around the lawn. Nikki, our little green parrot, had an hysterical fit when she spotted Squirrel on the back deck railing the other day and then picked herself up off her cage bottom and glared at me when she finished.
The coming of Squirrel is obviously my fault. Go figure. Maybe I’ll get a can of peanuts and go sit out on the back deck in the rain and we can turn the finger pointing up another notch. On second thought, maybe I won’t. With my luck, Tut would probably run over and lock the back door so I can’t get back in and then sit in the window laughing and lashing his tail as he watches the water dripping off my beard.
You know, that gives me an idea.