My Squirrel Karma or When Squirrles Go Bad
This is a true story. The events and the pictures of the locations are real. Only the pictures and names of the squirrels have been changed so as not to make martyrs of them.
This hub was inspired by the great legendary hubber Tom Cornett. He wrote about squirrels and got me reminiscing about my own expiriences. A link to his hub at the end of the story.
PART 1 GOOD KARMA
Squirrels of my youth
I grew up on a beautiful old tree lined street in the burbs. My parents were nature lovers. We would take long treks to the country to get ferns and hostas for our garden. We would take lots of nature walks, go bird watching and had love and respect for nature.
As a child I would sit out side and watch the animals. Birds, bunnies, Opossum and squirrels. I learned to talk to squirrels. No, I was not Dr. Doolittle. I did not understand them, but I could call them.
Mind you, I have no idea what I was saying to them in their language. They would come to me and look at me. Probably thinking I was the biggest ugliest squirrel that they had ever seen.
When I went to Colorado every summer, I would try to speak to the squirrels. But to no avail. They must speak a different dialect that I could not quite grasp.
One year when I was older, I could not attend the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering. Every year at noon on July 4th, they gather in silent meditation for world peace. So I figured that I would climb halfway up the mountain to Turtle Rock (a huge boulder that looks like a turtle head) and meditate for world peace, solo.
After crossing the stream, I was confronted by the fattest, scraggliest grey squirrel I had ever seen. He was just standing in the middle of the trail staring at me. At first I thought he was rabid. I thrust out my walking stick and said "Shoo". He cocked his head and looked at me as if I was dumb. He strolled over to me. I was ready for an attack. I yelled and waved my arms. He sat down and looked at me, as if he had patience. I went in a wide circle around him, but he followed me. I was a little nervous being trailed by such a fat, beaten looking, squirrel that behaved so strangely.
As I veered off the trail, heading up to Turtle Rock, I was not too surprised that he followed me. I found my self talking to him. I explained that I was going up the mountain to Turtle Rock, (pointing to the 8 story boulder above us) and that I was going to sit atop it and meditate for peace. Strangely, he slowly blinked his eyes as if to acknowledge my statement. By now the squirrel was walking next to me.
I wished one of my friends were there to witness this. I knew that they would have problems believing me. It seemed the wise old squirrel was part of my spiritual journey. I was not disappointed that I got a squirrel instead of something really cool like a white wolf. I would have been really freaked out by a fat, mangy looking, wolf following me.
The squirrel followed me all the way to the top of the boulder over looking the valley. I was just a little nervous as I sat in the lotus position. I still had doubts as to this squirrels intentions.He sat on his haunches about 5 feet from me. He looked at me, then turned to look out over the valley and closed his eyes half way. I watched him in shock for a few minutes. It was noon. He seemed to be meditating for world peace. Far out.
After my meditation, the squirrel was still there, still meditating. He finally looked over at me. I talked to him for a minute, telling him that was way cool and that I would be heading down the mountain. As I got up to leave, he started walking up the mountain. He looked back at me just one more time before we headed our separate ways.
I seemed to have good squirrel Karma.
PART 2 BAD KARMA
I got older, I got married and had kids. We had two kids with a third one on the way. It was time to find a house. We found a nice older house in the county, close to the city limits. There were some issues, but it was affordable. One of the issues was the trash. It was an older house with no garage. We were told we could not have the trashcans visible from the street, and we lived on a corner. We could build something to house the trashcans, but that would require permits. Ugh. So we put the trash cans on the front porch. It had a brick wall about three feet high around it. Perfect. They would be hidden from the street.
Back to the squirrels.
We had a squirrel that would get into our trash. He would take an envelope, or piece of a paper towel and make a plate for himself. He would eat over his plate. If he had any leftovers, he would take them back to the trash. We thought what a polite squirrel. After finishing with his own meal, the squirrel would jump up onto our window. If he saw us moving around in there, he would get a fresh plate from the trash and place it near our front door. Then he would go back in and find a tasty morsel. He would place it on his makeshift plate and leave it as an offering.
All of this good squirrel karma was getting to my head. I would have to go pick up this one piece of trash and put it back in the can, but I appreciated the offering. It was the least I could do being the God of the Squirrels.
One day, three gangsta’s moved into our hood. They chased our friendly squirrel out of the neighborhood. One hot summer day, we came home to trash all over the front porch. Where did it come from? Hot festering food stuff all over. Yuck. The smell alone was enough to make me wretch. We had to clean it all up before letting the kids get to the front door.
The next day, the same thing happened. We got new trash cans with lids. We came home yet again to find that trash was all over the front porch. There were holes in the top of two of our new trashcans. This was becoming a nightmare. Every day, at least twice these squirrels would throw trash all over the porch. They were not just taking what they could eat, they were emptying half the can. It was becoming a health hazard. If you can just imagine the smell and maggots and food all over the porch, you would understand.
One day I came home and saw trash flying out. I picked up a big stick and hit the can. The squirrel went flying out, and ran for the trees. It was at this point that I noticed his two hoodlums at the end of the porch. They scampered off as well.
The kids got a good laugh seeing the squirrel shoot out of the trashcan like a cannon. I cleaned up the mess and went in to wash up. I said “that ought to scare them away for at least a few days”. I put a pot of water on for tea. My son came running into the kitchen “Dad, Dad, the squirrels are back”. I said “NO WAY!” I ran to the window only to see the two hoodlums catching trash as the ringleader threw it out of the hole. So much for diplomacy.
I ran into the kitchen to find something. The water was just barley starting to simmer. I grabbed the pot and ran out to the front porch. I dumped the scalding water in the hole in the trashcan lid. Out shot a soaked steaming squirrel with a loud screech. He high tailed it around the corner. I looked around the side of the house just in time to see a steaming squirrel disappear.
I went back in the house and said that should settle our problem. My kids were worried that I had cooked the squirrel. I explained that the water was not boiling, but it must have hurt a bit. Just then I saw the wet squirrel at the window. He was looking inside. I started walking to the window. I swear when that damned squirrel saw me, it lifted its leg and pee’ed on the window. The damned thing was telling me off in a way that I could understand.
To quote Bugs Bunny. “Of course, you know that means War!”
I knew that my plan involved some bad karma.
I called my friends. I did not have any luck finding what I needed. I could not find a pellet gun anywhere. I asked where I could get one, the only reply was Walmart. Damn. I hated Walmart. I boycotted them. I would have to come up with a new plan. Then it happened. Two hours later, more trash on the porch. To hell with Karma, Walmart here I come.
I got my pellet gun and what they called hollow point pellets. By the time I got home the squirrels were nowhere to be found. I took a couple of practice shots in the back yard. The next morning as I was getting ready for work, I saw trash flying again. When I opened the front door, the gang spilt. I figured from past experience it would not be long before they returned. I brewed my coffee and checked at the window. There they were. Payback time.
I pumped the gun and slowly slid the storm door open. When the little bastard heard me he climbed out.
His compatriots ran for the trees. I hoped that they would not come back. I had to go out to the porch and put the dead leader in the trash can. Let that be a warning to any squirrel dumb enough to get in that trashcan. I had mixed feelings when I had to pick up his dead body, but hey, he chased away the polite squirrel, chewed holes in my new trashcans and he was spreading grease, germs and bacteria all over my porch. Not to mention, he pee’ed on my window. I mean really, what animal does that?
I went off to work and updated my coworkers on the squirrel wars. Ten hours later as I mounted the last steps, I was happy not to have to deal with the trash mess. I figured I would take the bucket and Clorox cleaning spray in. To my surprise there was trash all over the porch.
The next morning I woke up early. I opened the front door and waited for the culprits. The two evil creatures advanced on the cans.
A short squeal and one down.
The last member of the gang took off. I was going to put an end to this once and for all. I bolted from the house pumping the pellet gun. I saw him going up a tree and hide in a crevice. I rounded to the back yard, hoping for a better shot.
I am happy to say that we have been Hoodlum free for two summers now. I see tree rats and get uptight. I have to remind myself not to be prejudice towards all squirrels. I have had so many good experiences with them. But how do you tell the good from the bad? It is by their actions.
When I go to the park, sometimes I feel that some of the squirrels are watching me. Like they know, and I wonder about my squirrel karma.
A Paper Moon Production of The Good, The Bad and The Squirrely
The Good, The Bad and the Squirrely
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