Squirrel Wars

I was beginning my afternoon nap when the noise from the bathroom started. A quick recon pinpointed the source – a large hole in the outside wall between the window and the corner of the house. This particular squirrel had wisely (so it thought) chosen a location for its winter home construction that was inaccessible, being approximately 23’ off the ground. The cedar siding no doubt was familiar material for this project, and it was noisily setting up housekeeping in the cozy, insulation lined cavity it had created.

Being a squirrel, it was not familiar with the concept of windows, especially the fact that they open. A bit of what passes for research these days confirmed that squirrels do not care for pepper, especially the stronger types. Our kitchen cabinet happened to have black, cayenne, and red pepper on hand.

Creating a delivery system (see photo) took only a couple of minutes, and with the device and an armful of pepper containers in one hand and a step stool in the other, I made my way to the second floor corner bathroom. The window opened easily and depositing the quarter cup or so of mixed peppers took only a few seconds.

Now we wait.

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A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

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