I am presently embroiled in the battle of the squirrel. Don’t get me wrong, I like squirrels.
Their furry little frolicking antics are always amusing to watch when I’m the only one on the warm side of the window.
When both of us are on the warm side, well, it’s less amusing.
Our house is made out of logs and I think this is where the squirrel has become confused.
The squirrel probably thinks we are living inside of a tree. A big square tree. A big square tree full of nuts.
Which is sort of harsh. Just because a person gets caught leaping about the living room in mismatched pajamas, singing Like a Virgin doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is a nut.
It might simply mean that the person in question was Partying off the Pounds with Richard Simmons.
But who knows how a squirrel thinks?
Now our house is well built.
There are no squirrel-sized cracks between the logs, or anything like that.
It’s a log house, not a log fence. So this is the puzzling part. How is the squirrel getting in?
When they gain access to a granary they leave a substantial hole as evidence of their entry. We can find no such hole in our house.
Perhaps we have a super squirrel. Maybe there was an event similar to the one that occurred in Smallville, only it affected the squirrels instead of the people.
Now we have a squirrel that is capable of passing through walls like the invisible man or something. Only, regrettably, the squirrel is not invisible.
The most disconcerting moment of the entire ordeal happened yesterday.
I was busily sorting laundry when the squirrel, perhaps excited by the fact I was contemplating throwing a lone white shirt in with the coloured, started chattering at me from his perch on the shelf above the coat hooks.
Since I had thought I was alone in the laundry room, I quickly began to chatter back.
Only it sounded more like screaming. Jennifer Leigh in the shower when she sees a knife sort of screaming.
After we had tired of chattering at each other, I decided it would be best if the squirrel went back outside where it belonged.
To this end I opened the door (the laundry room is also our mud room) and invited the squirrel to leave.
The squirrel merely smirked at the suggestion and settled down on the shelf. That’s when I got a brilliant idea.
Taking my willow walking stick down from its hook, I proceeded to poke it at the squirrel in an encouraging manner.
Now imagine my horror when, instead of scurrying out the open door as planned, the squirrel instead decided to bridge the gap between us by running up the stick.
The stick that I was holding.
I could smell the nuts on his breath, before the paralysis finally left my arms, allowing me to fling the squirrel and stick in the general direction of the open door.
And that’s when things started to get exciting.
Alerted by the open door and all the chatter, our two dogs decided to take the opportunity to drop in for some dog biscuits and tea.
And by tea, I mean squirrel.
As badly as I wanted the squirrel to stop coming inside our house, I had no wish for it to end up dog breakfast.
On this the squirrel and I finally had a meeting of the minds. The dogs were less easily convinced.
Soon the four of us were whirling around the mud room like a couple pairs of mismatched shoes in the spin cycle.
When the fur finally settled, I found myself on the wrong side of the door with the dogs, while the squirrel let out a long victory chatter from somewhere deep inside the house.
Dejected, I sat down on the front steps and hoped that either the squirrel would find its way out the same way it had found its way in, or that it knew how to add fabric softener to the rinse cycle.
This will be Shannon McKinnon’s last column (previously published) until further notice.