“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”  Henry Ward Beecher

Two things to remember about squirrels from the website A Squirrel Place:

  1. A squirrel’s brain is about the size of a walnut.
  2. When a squirrel senses danger, its first instinct is to stand motionless.

One of my colleagues arrived home from our week-long meeting to discover her home had been invaded by a squirrel.  The critter had ample time to enjoy the luxurious digs.  Convincing him to leave wasn’t easy and he took a dip in the pool for good measure before conceding defeat.  I got a great laugh out of the story and was reminded of my own squirrel tale.

It was a lazy Sunday morning of movies with my daughter, Katrina.  During silences in the dialogue, I kept hearing scratching noises coming from our fireplace.  We had birds get in there in the past and I thought that might be the case again.  The fireplace was equipped with glass doors, thank God, so I could see inside, but the “guest” couldn’t get out.  We both inspected from every angle, but only the gas log was to be seen inside.  “Mom, you are imagining things.” she huffs as she heads upstairs for a nap.

Later that afternoon, I’m hearing noises again, but this time I spy some movement in the back corner – a squirrel, a really big squirrel!  How on earth am I going to get this thing out without getting bitten?  Since my husband is gone, I make a quick call to my neighbor.  He arrives with pillowcase and wire coat hanger in hand.  The plan is for him to poke the squirrel with the hanger, open the doors and me to catch him in the pillowcase.  I don’t much like this plan, but it doesn’t work anyway – reference fact number 2 above.  After about an hour, the squirrel is now quite angry, chattering loudly and not budging from his corner.  Animal control is not open on Sunday, but a call to the local police dispatches an officer at my house.  The two men confer and decide to try more of the same, unsuccessfully.  The cop sits down to think and lament that we can’t just shoot it.  In the meantime, I manage to find someone with expertise willing to come out on Sunday for a hefty fee.  I am just about to agree when Cop #2 arrives.  He heard the news on his radio and couldn’t believe it was true.  He assures me HE can get the thing out, don’t pay the expert.  Said expert overhears this boast, laughs and tells me to call him back if I need him.  Now my daughter has come out of her lair upstairs and begins to video the entire event with her cell phone.  Cop #2 retrieves a “grabber” from his patrol car and the three men now confer around my fireplace to develop a plan.  Having a brain bigger than a walnut, I open all the doors to the outside and close all the interior doors in the house just in case the squirrel has other ideas about that pillowcase.  Just as I complete my round, there is huge commotion and much shouting in my living room.  Mr. Squirrel made a break for it, exploding out of the fireplace and crossing the room in one leap.  He made a complete circuit of the house at a top speed, finally zigzagged out the door, sooty footprints marking his path of escape.

Needless to say, the three men were full of pride having successfully evicted the squirrel.  I don’t think they ever realized how ridiculous the whole thing really was, but I did and Katrina had it recorded!  We very considerately wait for them to leave before taking a look at what she captured.  What a disappointment!  We see the three men gathered around the fireplace, then I hear my daughter’s voice “Oh ^&*$!!!!” and then nothing but the ceiling.  “Well, he surprised me when he jumped out at me!”  So we have no video documentation, but a heck of a good story.  I’ll leave it to you to decide who won the battle of the brains.