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.
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.