Saturday, May 19, 2007

Squirrels Are Not Stupid, They're Just Thrill Seekers

Dad is not a fan of the neighborhood squirrels. We have a giant maple tree in our front yard. Half the wildlife on our block lives in our tree. One of the squirrels who lives in the tree is into extreme sports.

'Flingy' starts his run at the far end of the roof. When we hear little claws galloping overhead, one of us goes to the living room window, because we know what's coming. He hurls himself off the end of the roof towards the big tree, arms and legs spread wide, chattering in terror. He usually makes it to the thin top branch, which bends halfway to the ground under the impact from his weight. Sometimes he misses the top branch and hits one of the less forgiving lower branches. But he's never fallen the ground, yet. Crazy little guy.

'Schwartz' is my father's nemesis. He's black (hence the name) he's huge and he has no fear whatsoever. One time, Dad decided to get rid of Schwartz using one of those humane walk-in traps, filled with nuts and peanut butter. Irresistible for a squirrel. Mom called us to the window to come see. The squirrel was standing on it's hind legs, pressed against the side of the trap, it's little arm stuck through the mesh, reaching for the goodies. He completely avoided the trap door and reached for the prize through the side. Clever little guy.

Once, Dad came home, got out of the car, and there was Schwartz, standing on the edge of the roof. Dad snarled at the squirrel, but he didn't run away. The little creep actually yelled at Dad and shook his little fists at him. I have never seen anything like it. This half-pound furball was actually taunting my very large, squirrel-hating father. That guy had guts.

Dad kept trying though. We finally trapped all the squirrels and took them far away to a park with lots of trees and plenty of food. Everything was quiet. Until spring came and a new squirrel family moved in. 'Flingy' was one of them. You just can't win.

P.S. I have another squirrel story, I'll post it tomorrow.
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