The Squirrel Wars - A True Story - By Skye
Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Skye. That’s me. And that’s also the author of this short story. Once upon a time, at the same time when I lived, there lived a mischievous little squirrel named Mario. I don’t know very much about Mario, but I do know some things about him, including:
He loves to eat.
He has a little red patch on both of his sides.
His ears are a little bit chewed up.
He LOVES to sneak into our bird feeder to eat.
That last one is really important, since (spoiler alert!) that’s what this short story is about. Here’s a picture of Mario in our feeder:
Now, the thing is, Mario might look all cute and innocent-like, but he’s really not. He even crosses his arms when he doesn’t get his way (see above picture). But you have to realize that though he may seem innocent and cute, he’s most certainly not. The cute part is true, but the innocent part is [another adjective] not. He will try to do anything and everything to get into our bird feeder. It’s really annoying. We have tried everything we can to get him out of there, but he just. Won’t. Give. Up. The first thing we tried was putting up a baffle, which is basically a plastic shield (you can see one in the background of the second picture). That didn’t work. He just grabbed onto the top of it with one claw, hung on, and still got into the feeder. So that idea didn’t work. Then we tried putting up aluminum flashing on the post. That also didn’t work. So then we put up aluminum flashing everywhere. I mean, not just on the post. I mean on top of the feeder. On the post that the feeder’s hanging off of. All over our backyard. Everything was covered in aluminum flashing. But then we started to feel bad for the poor woodpeckers, who couldn’t land on the post to get to our suet feeder. So we took down some. That was just the perfect opportunity for Mario to get in. He just crawled inside of the feeder and stayed there for a really long time, feasting on the bird seed (that is, until we sprayed him with the hose). It was pretty hilarious. Him going in the bird feeder, I mean. But it was only hilarious up until the point when he started scaring off all of the poor birds that wanted to eat too.
Then the ice storms came.
At first, we only got a little bit of sleet. Then a layer of ¼ inch of snow. Then more ice. Then a dusting of snow. But then? We got 1 inch of ice. Of course there was a tiny bit of snow on top, but mostly ice. Trees started to droop with the weight of all of the ice. Branches fell. A particularly large one fell on top of the sheltered area in our backyard where the bird feeders were. Thankfully, nothing got smashed, but still. We needed to move the bird feeder so that no more falling branches hit it. The thing is, though, once we moved it there, Mario could get into it a lot easier. I think that’s a good thing, however, because we don’t want the poor squirrels to starve! Even Mario, despite his mischievousness.
After the ice melted, we just forgot to move the bird feeder back and re-squirrel proof it. To this very day, I’m still not sure if we “forgot” or actually forgot.
I guess that was our version of surrender, but Mario doesn’t really try to get in anymore. I’m glad!