Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Squirrels: Friend or Foe?

Considering the fact that I will no longer be in the country as of June 1st (I think. To make a long story short my husband graduates, gets probationary ordained, and placed in another church in June. We are anxiously waiting to hear where), I am going to miss these animal stories. I love living so close to nature but I must admit it is an adjustment from the typical suburban life I’m used to.

I love squirrels. Many people do not like squirrels. Many people see them for the rodents that they are. I like them. I like watching them. They are cute to me. I do let my dog chase them, but only because there’s no way she would ever catch them. It gives them both something to do.

We have three pecan trees in our back yard. Therefore, we have squirrels. We also have a huge sliding glass door by which I can see the birds we feed and the squirrels. When we first moved here I went to a craft show and found a squirrel feeder. It was a raccoon-proof squirrel feeder. Honestly, I wouldn’t have cared if it was raccoon-proof. Raccoons need to eat, too. I spent $30 on that squirrel feeder. A bit much, but it was nice looking and held a lot of squirrel feed. And that’s the least I could do for the squirrels. They were here first. And I planned on gathering their pecans in the fall so it only seemed fair.

I put up the feeder on a Wednesday. That Thursday we had a meeting at the church. A gentleman that owns an exterminating company was at this meeting. I overheard him talking about squirrels. How they come back to the same nest and multiply until you have an infestation. How they nest in your walls and cause problems. How they will eat through wires. How they ruin sheetrock. How they are pests. How he hated them with a passion and will sit with his shotgun in his back yard killing the things.

Oops. I was hoping he hadn’t seen that I was actually was FEEDING them in the back of the house which is in the same yard as the church. That night I went out after dark and took the feeder down. Darn. $30 down the drain. But certainly he was overreacting.

My hubby is the only staff person at this church. So, he is there alone most of the day. Today he went over there and was quietly tapping away writing a sermon in his office. He suddenly hears a “POP! CRASH!”. He jumps up and goes to the library where there is a closet. People rarely go in this closet; it has things that no one ever wants or needs but are afraid to get rid of. He was thinking someone was in there. He opens the door and three squirrels go scurrying past him. They had chewed through the wall (and who knows what else) and got into the church. And they were telling their friends. I can just envision next Sunday, sitting in the church pew, and having squirrels run passed my feet.

And I hope no one saw that squirrel feeder I had up for a short time a couple of years ago.

Question: Have you ever doubted someone only to find out they were right?

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