Found large, rodent-shaped toothmarks on apples in the fruit bowl on Mom’s kitchen counter, with a trail of knocked-over orchids, the paper towel holder, a few glasses…

I’d seen a squirrel at the kitchen windows the day before, leaping at the screens in a desperate bid to get in, and occasionally some odd scuffling noises on the roof.

Absent any evidence of a burglar with really strange teeth (and stranger eating habits), I think it’s safe to assume that the squirrel achieved his goal.

This is disturbing.

I’m not anxious to share living space with a bushy-tailed rat. No matter how cute and endearing they are OUTside, I am against awakening to squirrel poop on my pillow. I have visions of sticking my hand in a cupboard and drawing it out with a squirrel attached.*

Leptospirosis. Fleas. Salmonella. Rabies. CALL THE EXTERMINATOR!!! NOW!!!!

Mom takes a more casual approach. “I’ll get out the squirrel trap. Put a little peanut butter in it, and we’ll be fine. Your brother-in-law wants more squirrels up at their place on the mountains, so we’ll take him up there.”


Just because the squirrel stopped in for a quick tour and bite to eat doesn’t mean he stopped out again. There is quite likely a squirrel watching me as I type. Waiting for me to have a shareable breakfast.*

I realize that, as a rational, modern-day, animal-loving American, I should be applauding the squirrel’s prowess and determination. I should be sympathetic to his needs, realize that squirrels were here long before humans, and be willing to share my space with one of God’s Fellow Creatures. I should review all those cute watch-the-squirrel-figure-out-the-birdfeeder videos on YouTube and relax.


*For those who haven’t met me (or read my thoughts on this subject): The Wilderness and I do NOT play well together. Most people think of a mountain hike as a chance to commune with the beauties of nature. I think, “covered in mud, stung by wasps, bitten by a rattlesnake, eaten by bears.” 

My other name for “home” is “place where The Wilderness is NOT allowed.” The idea that The Wilderness has invaded is, uhm…unsettling.