Saturday, November 17, 2012

Squirrel Wars Part IV: Retaliation and Repentance

A few days ago, I came face to face with a squirrel.  Well, not really face to face, we were about 4 feet apart, but we were at eye level.  My eye level.  And we were both scared to death! I had walked up to the entrance of my Tuesday house, a small brick alcove, and there he was. He didn't hear me coming, so he was trapped. I didn't see him until he started running up and down the brick and across the small thresh hold and stopped, frozen in fear, stuck to the wall. We stood there looking at each other for a few seconds, neither of us knowing what to do. Neither loosing eye contact.  Only one thought was running through my mind. He knows who I am. Then, the thought changed to, He's going to jump on my head and never let go. It never occurred to me to simply take a step back and let the squirrel run away.  But, after a moment, I did realize that I should snap off a quick photo.  Don't get a chance for a close up too often.  But when I reached for my phone, he took off.  Just as well. He was ugly anyway.

I've explained to you how the squirrels gained 3 points in our little war and how I've earned 2. If you need to catch up, you may want to start at the beginning. Now, it is time to bring you up to date to our current status: 4-4.

Once the snakes moved in, life with squirrels settled down on the homestead. We didn't see them much on the porch, and never in the attic.  But I could hear them running around, and they left plenty of evidence behind. Nice little packages of droppings, drippings, and of course, prints. At least they learned to stay out of my way. Or maybe they were simply hiding from the snakes. With the house secure, I could concentrate on the front line, the roadways.

A few months had passed since our last battle when we were notified that the owners of the big, yellow house were listing the house for sale. It was time to move again. Not able to find a house in the same area, we ended up renting one not far from the first Tallahassee house.  The one with the "nice neighbors". I was a little concerned at first. The house was surrounded by trees.

On the positive side, it was a smaller house, only one story, and newer construction. We moved in, and I quickly staked my claim. The first thing I noticed was a bird feeder hanging on the front porch. Nice idea if you like watching birds from your living room window, but NOT if you want squirrels all over the porch feeding off of the scattered seeds. My husband loved the idea of watching birds, so we moved the feeder to the back yard where he preferred to sit. I put a rocker on the front porch, and declared that my new throne. From there, I could guard the new homestead. I chased squirrels away from the front.  They scurried around to the back, where they were more tolerated. As long as they stay off of his feeder, he doesn't mind them. In fact, he likes to watch them and even throws a little extra seed onto the ground for them.  TRAITOR!

Having settled in, I was quite content. The squirrels knew their boundaries. Except for one. It seems he could read. He saw that the doormat on the front stoop said, "WELCOME", so he started helping himself.  I knew it was happening because it was disappearing just like the last one, only this one was going at a faster rate. One day, my daughter called out, "This squirrel looks just like he is eating spaghetti!" WHAT? Sure enough, there he sat, cramming his mouth so full, he looked more like a hamster than a squirrel.

Caught in the Act!

After taking the picture, I ran him off.That's how the squirrels got another point to bring them to 4. But it wasn't long before I splatted another one with my expert driving skills, so I earned another also. That gave me 3. RETALIATION!

I was happy, I was content. I now had a reputation both in the human and squirrel community of being a squirrel killer and I felt highly respected. Then one morning, as I was driving down my street and saw a new target, I sped up and got ready to strike. And then something unexpected happened. God spoke to me. It wasn't auditory, it wasn't a whisper. It was one of those moments when He speaks to your heart and you KNOW what He is saying, and what He is saying will change your life forever. The "conversation" went something like this:

What are you doing?
Its just a squirrel.
Why are you trying to hit squirrels?

And I repented. I felt really, really sad. really, I DID. I wasn't sad for the squirrels, but I was so convicted, I felt sort of guilty. I apologized, asked for forgiveness, and vowed - with His help- I would stop aiming for squirrels. Hard to believe, maybe. But I was turning over a new leaf. From that moment on, unless I am joking or being silly, I stopped swerving towards squirrels.  Well almost.  It took a couple of weeks to get out of the habit.  Sometimes, I did swerve, but then I'd remember and offer up a quick, "OOPS, I forgot. Sorry!" and go about my way.

Now if a squirrel runs under my tire or falls from a tree onto my hood (wouldn't that be neat!?), I am NOT responsible. Such is life. Mine, not the squirrels', because I did hit another one.  But hey, he ran out in front of me. 4 points Rox

So, we are tied and I am a nervous wreck. Can we call it even? Will they leave me alone now? Only time will tell. So, will the Squirrel Wars Diary continue? To be honest, I really hope not, but I'm sure it will.......

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