Saturday, February 04, 2006

Humanizing The Enemy


I said something to my husband the other day about one of the wild critters in our backyard. He asked me if I have given them all names and how can I tell one from another. I think he was actually wondering if I needed my head examined.

To set the record straight, I do not name all of the animals that visit our yard. Sometimes I will name an animal that is exceptional in one way or another like "Fats" the squirrrel.

"Fats" was unable to leap onto the bird feeder hanging from the maple tree because it was too high off the ground and too far away from the trunk or limb. This feeder had withstood squirrel invasion for 5 years. It was truly squirrel-proof.

I watched "Fats" study that feeder for about two weeks until he came up with an ingenious plan.
He climbed out on the limb it was tied to and then gnawed though the rope holding it up. It took him only a couple of minutes to go through the rope. The feeder came crashing to the ground and the peanuts were his.

For the record, I detest squirrels. The feeder in question now has a metal chain to deter further feasting. I will try almost anything to keep squirrels away including coyote urine, chicken wire and vaseline. However, there is one varmint who has earned my respect as a formidable enemy. He is twice the size of most of the other squirrels with an unusually bushy and glossy tail and his name is "Fats".