A Squirrel of a Time: A Stephellaneous Life through a Squirrelticular Lens (Part 2)

So I believe Part 1 left off with mere Attempted Squirrelicide. Today, dear readers. Oh, today we get right into the thick of it. Attempted is for weenies. We’re talkin’ full-on Squirrelicide now. Don’t even bother hiring a detective, because I’m about to confess.

Squirrelicide in the First Degree

I was sixteen or seventeen when I went on my first hunting foray. (I may as well go ahead and tell you it was also my only hunting foray. Consider that a preview on how things went.) I didn’t care about hunting, but being out in the woods early on a weekend morning sounded lovely. So, even though I thought camouflage was stupid (still do – suck it), I donned someone’s spare camo and tagged along with my boyfriend. He wanted to go squirrel hunting, and he wanted me to go with him.

Sure, let’s do this thing.

funnybaby64

We get out into the woods, and he’s being all manly protector and shit. I’m walking along the well-trodden path when Mr. Boy Scout practically unhinges his arm to stop me in my tracks.

Snake. There was a snake. Not a venomous snake, mind you, which he himself acknowledged. No matter, his girlfriend’s life dignity was at stake.

So he murdered the snake.

And I cried.

That was sign number one that we should have turned back.

About halfway through our trek, we come across a deer stand. He told me what it was and who it belonged to. I pointed to the knee-high mound of food and asked what it was. “That’s deer feed,” he said, “to lure the deer.” I’m sure you can guess my reply: “Are you fucking serious? That hillbilly dickwad motherfucker LURES them here?” I even quoted My Cousin Vinny. The part about the happy little deer putting it’s little deer lips to the cool water to drink, and:

BAM

Oh yeah. Then he explained the stench I was smelling came from the deer musk/urine sprayed all around the place to lure them and mask the scent of humans.

I was livid. And though he was highly amused,

That was sign number two that we should have turned back.

But we didn’t turn back. The rest of the trek was pleasant enough. Enjoying the cool autumn weather. The trees. The chirping of the birds. Learning to recognize animal tracks and hiding spots. It was a pretty cool morning, aside from the murder and mayhem.

We finally settled into a thick copse of trees, squatted down with our weapons and listened. Watched. Observed. Felt. So far, so good. I was cool with all of that, and was pretty good at spotting shit, too.

I had done some target practice a week or so prior – but it didn’t take much. I was actually really fucking good at it. I remember he was strangely proud of that – at least he wasn’t one of those weirdos who get jealous about that sort of thing.

So yeah, when I finally spotted a squirrel I deemed close enough, I didn’t even say anything – I just went for it. I was using this little .22, and I think I was too far away. (At least that’s what I was told in attempts to comfort me afterward.) After I shot, the squirrel fell from the limb he was on.

And we never found him.

We searched for hours, because I was insistent and at least mildly hysterical. But we never found him. I cried. Nay, I fucking sobbed. He was beside himself, first laughing and then desperate to calm me down. He swore the shot would have spread, and the squirrel was probably fine or we would have gone straight to him. But I was inconsolable; all that could be done was to leave and let me put it behind me.

But I never really did. Put it behind me, I mean. Though I was done crying by the time we emerged from the woods, I’ve never forgotten that day. And I’ve never believed that squirrel came out unscathed. He either died that day or ended up in hospice care.

southfloridasquirrel

I never forgave myself, and I never went hunting again.

The Three Stooges: A Shot at Redemption Ends in Triple Squirrelicide

That next summer – same boyfriend – he brought three baby squirrels home. The tree they were living in had been cut down, and the mother abandoned them. So he brought them to me. By now, he knew damn well what a bleeding heart I was. I was ecstatic! But I also had no idea how to take care of tiny baby squirrels.

3babysquirrels
Y’all…they looked just like this.

I thought I did the right thing. I really did. I took them to a veterinarian. (I mean, I also used the Internet. What, Alta Vista at the time? Dogpile? But there wasn’t much information available.) The veterinarian sold me some kitten milk and an eye-dropper feeder (and a bottle for when they got bigger) and told me to keep them warm. Feed them every two to three hours, he said, and keep them warm with a rice sock heated in the microwave.

I was so careful with those little things. I had them tucked into a small box, with a fluffy towel and the rice sock. I always held it against tender spots of my skin first to make sure I wouldn’t burn the Three Stooges. That’s what I named them: Larry, Curly and Moe. And I fed them carefully and regularly.

Larry died first. First and fast. Almost right away, really. God, I was a wreck. I opened up the little box in the middle of the night, for a nighttime feeding and to re-warm the sock. And he was curled up there, lifeless. I was heartbroken. The boyfriend took care of burying him for me. I insisted Larry be buried.

Moe was next. He lasted a couple of weeks before giving up. He stopped eating, I think. I do remember calling the vet on his account. And he told me that all I could do was keep them warm and feed them regularly. Oh yeah, and I was also wiping them with a warm damp cloth to help them pass waste.

But it wasn’t enough. Moe didn’t make it. But I knew for certain Curly was solid. He made it several weeks. And he even got big enough to ride around in my breast pocket.

pocketsquirrel
This is neither my breast, nor my pocket, nor my squirrel. But they suffice.

It just wasn’t to be. And I was absolutely shattered when I came home from work one day, and the boyfriend told me Curly had died. I know now that I should have sought the advice of another vet. But at the time, I trusted that particular one. He took care of the boyfriend’s dog, so he was like their family vet. But I know now that poor Curly was most certainly malnourished. He wasn’t large, not even fully juvenile. He was still a baby. But he had certainly graduated beyond the basic nutrition found in kitten milk.

I was devastated. And when the boyfriend found yet more baby squirrels some time later, he had the presence of mind to call me first. And I asked him to please not bring them home. I couldn’t go through it again.

So uhm. Yeah. That one wasn’t funny. My bad. But it did result in yet more squirrel funerals. It strikes me that I have a disproportionate amount of squirrel funerals in my life, as compared to…ahem…normal people.

And I can add Serial Squirrel Murderer and Stooge Slaughterer to my rap sheet. Oh hell, I got a rap sheet? Holla!

Additional Squirrellaneous Encounters

Far more recently (that shit happened when I was a teenager, remember?), I tried befriending my squirrels. The ones that live here. In my trees. And I love watching them play and roughhouse with each other. So I tried to befriend them.

Last year (that was last year wasn’t it?), I visited The Peanut Depot while I was checking out Birmingham, Alabama.

store-burlap-bags_0

Seriously, if y’all are ever in Birmingham, you need to hit up the Peanut Depot. (And what the fuck is the matter with you if you’re grown and American and haven’t been to Birmingham? That’s an important city, and you need to go. You been told.)

Aaaanywho, I bought an assload of peanuts. The guy behind the counter flirted with me. I know, because I don’t get flirted with, and homeboy didn’t even try to hide it. But he also wanted to know just what the hell I was gonna do with all those peanuts. I bought a 2 lb. burlap sack of each kind (regular, salted and Cajun). And, he was right. What the fuck was I thinking?

Once I got home and realized the error of my ways – I mean what on earth was I gonna do with sixteen zillion peanuts? I tried to share them at work, but who wants peanuts? Though, I did keep a small nutsack of my own in my drawer. (Hehehe, this woman told me about her nutsack at work. I totally should have called mine that. If you haven’t made her acquaintance, you should. She’s delightful.)

So, I hatched a plot to befriend my squirrels. First I laid peanuts around the trees in the front, like little Easter eggs. It didn’t take long for them to find ’em. I’d peer out my window at them, watching one chow down and the other stuff his furry little cheeks and haul ass up the tree. Probably plotting to use them as soggy, nutty projectiles. No matter.

After a few days of this, I began sprinkling them in the yard. And then leading a path to the porch. I spied the two regulars munching on the porch a couple times. But this didn’t last. Oh no.

Because those fucking bastard assholes tore up my yard!

squirrelholes
This is not my yard, but it’s exactly what it was like after those ingrates tore the shit out of it. They took my peanuts and they mocked me with them. Tearing up the yard and burying them for winter!

I told those motherfuckers I had enough peanuts to last a lifetime of winters. But nooooooooo, they had to dig! And you wanna know how I found out? Hmm? I couldn’t see the holes because of the copious amounts of pinestraw. But I was out there one day, feeding the sons of bitches and twisted my ankle in a squirrelhole!

So, like the Soup Nazi, I shouted (seriously, I shouted) NO PEANUTS FOR YOU! (I’m sure my neighbors find me positively delightful.) Then I called them bastards. No good dirty rotten scoundrels. I shook my fists at them up in the trees. They didn’t dare mock me, not til I went inside. But never again would I spoil those little bastards. Now they’ll have to be content with munching on acorns and my roof. Assholes.

Let’s see. Aside from that? I’ve already talked about how the squirrels laid siege to the Veggie Patch. I’m certain, now, that it’s in retaliation for me cutting off the peanut supply line. It’s all starting to come together now.

I’ve had lovely encounters with the mountain squirrels of Washington, Montana, Wyoming…they liked to climb on me and check my pockets. You know what? That does it! Fuck these local squirrels. I’m moving! I know, I know…it’s only a matter of time before even the mountain squirrels turn on me.

It’s time for me to bust out the water hose and tear some ass up.

Oh my gosh, this is how it all began. Mr. Smith’s struggles were real. I see it all so clearly now. I’ll fight them in your honor, Mr. Smith! I’ll take no prisoners!

take no prisoners
Take No Prisoners! (This photo makes me craugh. (Cry + Laugh = Craugh, remember? Gah!) But it’s too perfect!) (Also, double parenthesis bitch!)

The End. Or has it only just begun?

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37 thoughts on “A Squirrel of a Time: A Stephellaneous Life through a Squirrelticular Lens (Part 2)

    1. I TOTALLY agree. Maybe for “camouflage,” they could dress up like a beer cooler. That should make ’em safe enough until their prey is in range.

      Hehe and I LOVE that song. Every time I hear it now, though, which is strangely kinda often, I’m reminded of Gob from Arrested Development!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That whole album is one of the most underrated hair band albums of all time. (Which worked out well for me, ’cause I picked it up for $3.50 at Hastings, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain…)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Squirrels are awesome! My squirrels hate me, but I still feed them so I can take pictures of them and exploit their cuteness on my blog. Between the corn I give them and the bazillion acorns that fall from my oak tree, they’ve got more shit buried in my backyard than John Wayne Gacy had under his crawlspace. But that’s what squirrels do… they bury their food. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My mother’s husband is a dedicated squirrell feeder. They come knock on their patio door for peanuts.
    I would have just as hard a time as you did. Two weekends ago, I was driving home and there was a dead animal in the road. Already dead, mind you, but it was dark and I coulnd’t avoid him, so we hit with a thump. I had to pull over to have a cry. “You’re a good person” my husband said (he was drunk, which was why I was driving) – but why? Because this feels pretty basic and bad to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right? Every time I’m forced to run over something already dead (it happens regularly…), I cry. Every. Single. Time. I’m glad to know I’m not alone! But I’m with you – this seems like a basic human emotion. Kinda scary to think how rare it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My what big nutsacks you have, make mine look like shriveled boiled peanuts….oh my. But I did refill said sack today, they were out of brazil nuts yesterday but it seems like the nut fairy did her f’n job and brought me more. Although the boy at work went to the witch doctor and declined my punkin’ seeds….just not the same as nuts….he wasn’t happy with the doctor….so had to make the special trip….perhaps I can leave a trail throug the office and he will be forever indebted to me…or at least follow me home like the other squirrels do. Just kidding, I have a man, no need for fuzzy varmints. Peace, K

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “(Also, double parenthesis bitch!)” … and also correctly nested.

    My neighborhood is infested with the little buggers. The babies are particularly cute when they first leave the nest.

    Many years ago there was an old fat paraplegic squirrel whose back legs were paralyzed. Probably broke its back falling out of a tree by missing a branch on a jump. I would never have thought a squirrel could get around as well or as fast as that gimp squirrel.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No but I spent my three happiest years there. A little idyll in the Bitterrot Valley, south of Missoula, with my wife, before we moved to Denver so she could go to an accelerated nursing program and I could go Kablooey to my life. Chicago suburbs at the moment — 😱😱😱 — Madison shortly. Always looking for a summer road trooper to get back to Glacier in August, when the serviceberries are bursting, tho:)

        Like

  5. I recently heard what a squirrel sounds like and I was surprised at how high-pitched and loud it was. (There are plenty of videos on YouTube.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell if the squirrel was mad, afraid of me, or just singing his favorite song.

    I recently met an avid hunter/gun lover. I asked him if he saw a lot of bugs while he hunted, and he said he wore one of those hats with a net around it, covering his face. I suppose you have to cover your whole body when you go hunting, for protection. Doesn’t sound like fun to me. If I wanted to spend time with my whole body covered, I’d become a Muslim. (Just kidding, Muslims.) πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That is so sweet of you to think of me, for seriouses!!

      I did awards at first, but it got a little overwhelming. I’m not sure I’m gonna keep doing ’em…I’m so waffly sometimes. I haven’t decided. πŸ™‚

      Thank you thank you – you’re sweet to think of me!

      Liked by 1 person

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