And then reality raced in. Our backyard paradise, replete with robins, blue jays, cardinals, squirrels and chipmunks happily coexisting with us, the feeders, crumbled. The daily ritual of throwing out bird seed to attract wildlife had transformed our clever, fat squirrels into evil masterminds.
“I think that squirrel is up to something.” I pointed out a few weeks ago while looking out the kitchen window. “He stares right at me with a look of contempt.” Of course, my family thought I was the one with the problem. Yet, I kept track of the gray creatures as they drew closer and closer to the house with their challenging glances towards me. They were definitely plotting.
In the first attack, the ring leader chewed a hole the size of a grapefruit in the screen of our enclosed porch. He welcomed himself to the bag of seed and urinated on the furniture. Although clever enough to get in, the squirrel trapped himself inside. It took several hours to coax the intruder out.
Betrayal and outrage replaced our awe and joy. After all, what did those greedy squirrels want? They were being fed. They had to go and ruin the bucolic dream. After a second invasion via a melon-shaped hole, we appealed to the experts. Local hardware and gardening centers were amused at our distress. They shared their squirrel horror stories and offered little relief.
After a few days interruption, we resumed feeding the birds. Why should the birds suffer because some animals are selfish? Yet, it is not the same. We rattle cans and tap the windows to scare the squirrels. Our porch is immersed with vinegar to mask any enticiing smells. The bird seed has been removed to the garage. We are now hunkering down.