News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUlY 3, 2005


Backyard squirrel goes squirrelly

The pesky squirrel at our house either got married, moved away or Mrs. Squirrel kicked him out of the neighborhood.

If I had thought of the possibility of instability at home, I might have been a little more understanding when Mr. Squirrel dropped from the maple tree onto the roof of the sunroom.

But I doubt it.

Playing skydiver, then scampering away, didn't bother me as much as thinking he might establish residence upstairs and bring Mrs. Squirrel and all the little squirrels along.

Then, there was the challenge. Man against beast. Him or me.

Now that he's disappeared, I sort of miss him. When and if he comes back, I will be ready.

The folks at Alabama Farmers Co-operative on U.S. 31 South wouldn't guarantee that the bigger and better trap I was about to buy would take care of my squirrel problem. But I agreed that it had more potential than the smaller, and cheaper, one I bought several years ago. The new one is made of menacing stuff that reminds me of a Willo Products Co's. jail cell, and is more difficult for critters to steal the bait without consequences.

Its sure-fire, low-tech trap door is work my late Grandfather Glenn, a Rube Goldberg innovator, would have admired. It works every time.

The first day on the deck under the maple trees brought only the ground squirrel and several birds. They like pecans so well they were willing to stay trapped until I released them.

Mr. Squirrel, though, hasn't been seen or heard since the new trap went out, which makes me think there was a domestic blowup, or that the marauding cat from next door sneaked up on him when he tried to steal the pecan bait from the trap.

Then Regina posed a possibility that I hadn't thought about.

"How do you know the squirrel is a male?" she asked. "It's outsmarted you for so long, I'm thinking it might be female."

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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