On Squirrel Patrol

Some might say that I have a bee in my bonnet, but I would rather that than a squirrel in my attic.

I used to like squirrels; used to consider them rather humorous creatures; thought that they were rather beautiful in a fluffy-tailed way; found their hiding-nuts-in-the-garden behaviour rather endearing.

Not anymore.

Where once squirrels were well-mannered guests in my garden, now they are the anti-social rodents of the neighbourhood.  If there was an ASBO for squirrels, I need one.

I mean, they are just taking liberties.  They scale my pebbledash; they jump on my shed; they steal food out of my neighbour’s bin and leave the left-overs in my garden, and not just food––plastic wrappers; bits of newspaper; sweet papers.

They sit on my fence and attempt to out-stare me, as I spy out on them from behind my kitchen window; their entire attitude is one of teenage insolence; their expression saying more clearly than words: “What are you going to doing about it then?”

They show no fear of Cut the Crap Karen; if anything, they show her only disdain.

And now, to top it all, I fear they may have built their drey in my attic.  I watch them as they hop along my garden fence; leap on the flat, Perspex roof covering my outhouse; shimmy up the side of my drainpipe towards my roof; only for them to then disappear.  Where do they go?  I peer up at the fascia board beneath my guttering to see if there is a gap, which they might be able to squeeze through, without being able to identify the point of weakness.  It needs a long ladder in order to examine the site more closely, but then I am putting myself in their territory: twenty feet up on a narrow ledge.  This is squirrel country.  Where I might be able to compete with them on equal terms on the ground; in the sky, I am at an instant disadvantage.

I find myself watching their every move.  It is a battle of bluff and counter-bluff.  I am beginning to recognise their habits; know the times of day when they are most active.  Surely this is valuable intelligence, which I can use to my advantage? 

Although, perhaps the squirrels are compiling their own dossier on me?

© Simon Turner-Tree

Simon Turner-Tree is on squirrel patrol.

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