We have a squirrel in our backyard who lives underneath the wooden platform in front of our shed. We’ve named him Squirrely and consider him the most low-maintainance “pet” our kids could ever have. After a whole year of effort, he finally managed to destroy our birdfeeder. It’s amazing that it took him that long, considering that it was made out of a two liter bottle and some dowels. B said we should get an actual birdfeeder this time. I tried not to take offense. We bought a nice birdfeeder, filled it with fresh birdseed, and hung it on our fig tree.
The next day, I found it on the ground, cracked open with seed spread among the rocks underneath. I put it back together, a little confused, and hung it more carefully on the tree. That afternoon and all the next day, I watched from the kitchen window as Squirrely feasted on the spilled seed. Today, I saw him out there again, though I knew there must be little seed left. I also knew that I had hung the feeder in such a way that he was not going to be able to pull it down again. What I did not know was that Squirrely could not only jump from the ground to the birdfeeder, but also that the feeder was narrow enough that he could wrap his little squirrel arms around it as he pried open the slots. A two liter bottle is certainly too wide to do that.
I was hard to feel smug. I have long been the squirrel’s champion, thinking that he was not only cute but also likely to scare off the veggie-eating bunny. Also, both B and I stated that it seemed silly to spend extra money on a squirrel-proof birdfeeder or the stake of squirrel corn.
Needless to say, I end today with a greater appreciation of a squirrel’s dexterity and ingenuity, and slightly less respect for us humans.