Very much just another blog

Squirrel rules

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The squirrel is a hungry and tenacious rodent. Carling Black Label showed us many moons ago that it will negotiate the trickiest of obstacles to secure its supper. It will haul itself along chains hung baggy, nip through tubes and ride laughing on a seesaw in order to stuff its face with some nutty goodness. Cheeky little fucker.

The squirrel is vermin. The squirrel is king of the urban garden. The squirrel, my friends, is laughing at us.

It’s a strange thing these days: we walk through London streets and see foxes that once were thin get fatter and less afraid, muscling out their shoulder blades and their nerve as we leave our bins bulging with food we’ve wasted and they fill their bellies. Cats prowl the walls that mark where his garden ends and yours begins and, in between, leaps the laughing squirrel, waiting, relishing, its next challenge.

In a garden in South East London the Professor is determined to outwit the squirrel. His wife, the Lady, likes the birds that come by and she is tired of the squirrels pinching their food. The Professor loves the Lady and wants to make her happy. Secretly, too, he is relishing the challenge. He makes a tiny javelin, drills an eye through which he threads a string, and he and the lady stand beneath a tree, considering their target. They need to hang the string from the lightest of branches, one that will not hold a squirrel’s weight. The Lady holds the string and readies herself as the Professor moves, aims and: BAM! First time! He’s laughing and then his brow curls as the javelin keeps going past the spot where he aimed. He turns and looks at the Lady. It just came out of my hand, she says. They spend two hours aiming and firing until finally he pitches it right. The first prototype is set.

The Professor is not someone who experiments with one solution only and, anyway, his brain is whirring and the battle is on. From the sill of a window high up on their old rambling house, he clamps a piece of wood. From this piece, which sticks out perpendicular to the house, he clamps another piece of wood which hangs down. He runs back down to garden where he takes the traditional old bird table shaped like a house on a single leg and saws them apart. This doesn’t work, he mumbles as he works. Ridiculous thing; you’re asking for trouble.

He drills the house to the hanging wood and stands back grinning. He walks from one side to the other, considering the leap a squirrel would have to make from wall or branch. It looks impossible to him and he’s never seen a squirrel scale the side of his actual house. Poor Professor: a squirrel sits quietly behind him, bright-eyed, rubbing it’s naily paws. The Professor does not know it but his solutions are gifts to the rodent, exciting opportunities that will do nothing but encourage the animal’s evolution. Every challenge he lays, the squirrel will meet. The Professor hoists the house slightly higher; the squirrel grins and completes ten more squat thrusts.

One day squirrels will rule the world. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Written by elikafm

September 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I once heard of a grumpy farmer sitting out all night, with an unloaded shotgun, in order to scare the bejezus out of local ruffians who kept cutting the gas pipes to his fixed caravans. When he saw the culprit, a squirrel, fly backwards through the air having bitten through the pressurised pipe, he almost wet himself laughing. Maybe your squirrels’ laughter is infectious.

    David Foster

    September 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

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