The Great Squirrel Adventure
Yesterday was an interesting day. In addition to my Santa run, it was also the Great Squirrel Adventure.
About 9am I heard SOMETHING in the garage. A big thunk. An alarmingly big thunk.
I went and looked, but saw nothing.
Ten or 15 minutes later, there was another. Not as big, but still…
slave drew was out and about, but I called him.
He came home, looked around, saw nothing, and headed out to do his errands again.
About 20 minutes later, I start hearing something. In the fireplace itself. Not the chimney, the fireplace.
I texted drew this time.
“There is absolutely something in the fireplace.”
“I can hear it moving.”
“In the fireplace of just up the chimney.”
“I can hear it clearly.”
“On my way.”
While I was waiting, I got the flashlight and looked.
And saw the unmistakable fluffy tail of a squirrel, on the left side beside the grate. slave drew had laid a fire before Thanksgiving, though it was so warm we never lit it, but the logs were in there.
I called drew and told him what I knew. “There’s a squirrel in the fireplace.”
He came in with a plan. He had a dog pen and a blanket. We were going to put the cage in front of the fireplace, open the doors, and drape a blanket around it. The squirrel, he theorized, would run OUT of the fireplace, INTO the cage, drew would flip the lid closed and carry Mr. Squirrel outside.
This did not work.
Mr. Squirrel seemed fond of our fireplace, at least much fonder of it than he was of the concept of a dog pen.
Ok, new plan.
The new plan was not my favorite, in that, it required propping open the front door and letting Mr. Squirrel run for it.
My additions to the plan were, ok, but let’s block so he doesn’t run into the den, or the kitchen, or, God forbid, upstairs.
So we drape towels over openings, block them with boxes, all of that.
The dogs are outside, barking their little Scottie heads off at something, but that is the least of our worries at this moment.
I take a spot on the stairs, with a blanket in front of me, preparing.
I notice, too, that we have so many birds in the yard that if we manage to NOT have one or two fly in the open door, it’s going to be somewhat miraculous.
It did not happen, but really, talk about a Disney movie.
So, we prepare for the great squirrel run.
“Just so you know,” I say, “if the squirrel runs toward me, I *will* scream. You don’t have to do anything about it, but just fair warning. I will scream.”
“Gotcha,” he says.
Mr. Squirrel, however, is still fond of the fireplace. He’s not moving. Nope. Not him. Nuh uh. He’s good.
Crap. Crappity crap crap.
Ok, I say, I’m going to go out and whap on the side of the house with a broom and see if the noise makes him move.
What it seems to do, however, is convince Mr. Squirrel even more thoroughly that he does not want to leave the comfort of his cozy little hidey hole, because, clearly, these people are lunatics.
slave drew is alternately coaxing him and cursing at him. In German.
I’m alternately half-hiding on the stairs, and hitting the side of the house with a broom.
Mr. Squirrel has a point.
Finally, drew just starts taking all the things out of the fireplace.
The logs come out.
The kindling comes out.
Finally even the grate itself comes back, until all that’s left is Mr. Squirrel himself.
I am peering over the bannister, like a four-year-old watching for Santa, only a lot more likely to scream.
drew tries tapping the back of the fireplace with the long handle of the broom.
FINALLY, Mr. Squirrel makes a break for it.
He LEAPS out of the fireplace and runs.
And to Mr. Squirrel’s credit, had we laid out a path for him that we’d most prefer, that was the exact path he took.
Across the living room floor, running hell for leather. A left at the hall, four more feet and he’s OUT the door, another quarter second and he’s down the steps and gone.
No muss, no fuss, and he ran like a little trooper.
He was a young squirrel, probably born this summer. slave drew is going to have to put a wire cage over the top of the chimney so this doesn’t happen again. We had a bird in the fireplace in the fall.
The funniest thing was Mr. Squirrel running. Squirrels stop so often, and check things out. Mr. Squirrel did not. Mr. Squirrel RAN.
That night I thought, he’s somewhere in a tree, telling this bizarre Alice in Wonderland story.
“So, I fell down this hole and into this nice, strange, dark place. There was some wood in there, it was cool. I was exploring.
“Then these terrifying giants started tormenting me, doing these WEIRD things! They were cursing at me, and I tell you, I swear it was in German. They had a CAGE there, like I was going to just run into it. Riiiiight.”
“So what happened?” his friends ask.
“I ran, of course. Clearly, they were insane.”
Then Mr. Squirrel sagely nods his head, eats another acorn, and nods off, to dream of the Great Squirrel Adventure.