“Mom, why did Aunt Nickie send home a stuffed squirrel?” “Ugh, she’s enjoyed tormenting me with them since the squirrel incidents years ago.” “What squirrel incidents?” Ok, Paige, I will tell you the squirrel story. I can’t believe we haven’t told you this story before now.
When I was in middle school my parents bought this ridiculously large house with all kinds of nooks and crannies, and it backed up to a wooded lot. My favorite place in the whole house was my dad’s office. He had this massive desk (which is in my office now), a cozy fireplace, and a comfy couch. I would go in there to nap, read, or just hang out. I loved it, until one day I didn’t anymore.
I was camped out on the couch half asleep when my mom called me. I had a habit of just kind of rolling off the couch, catching myself with my arms before I hit the floor, and then standing up. You can image my horror when mid roll I see a dead squirrel staring up at me from the floor. Let me paint the picture for you. This joker was on his back, his mouth in a snarl showing his jagged little jerk teeth, and his hands up like he was about to grab a nut. Have you ever seen a 13 year old girl defy gravity, roll back UP a couch, and hurdle over a kitchen pass through before?! Well that’s exactly what I did! To this day I don’t know how I managed to jump through that pass through. It was an epic move worthy of an Olympic Medal. I screamed the whole way as if I had been taken over by evil spirits. And then the rest of the evening is a blur. I have no idea who removed the squirrel, whether he went to a squirrel heaven, or what his fate was. But I knew I hated squirrels from that moment on.
Now there is a little fun fact we had not yet discovered about the woods behind our house. They were full of FLYING squirrels. Not regular, normal squirrels. Oh no! Everything in my life has to be extra, even the squirrels! Well, if you don’t KNOW that the squirrels are flying, you don’t know to close the fireplace flue now do you? So does anyone want to guess what happened?!
Fast forward about 6 months to a year. I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning against our rolling island while my mom cooks. The fact that she was in the kitchen cooking should have been an odd enough turn of events for me to know known something bad was going to happen. I mean seriously, we grew up on KFC and Foster’s BBQ. Mom didn’t cook. Anyway….there we were, attempting to have a mother daughter moment. She turns around to look at me and her eyes do this funny twitchy thing. I can tell something isn’t quite right, but she’s trying to keep her cool. “There’s a squirrel isn’t there?” She couldn’t speak. Wooden spoon midair, she just nods.
Guys, I really should have considered track after the squirrel episodes. I jumped up, jumped back over that pass through, and up to my room. This squirrel was ALIVE! That asshole had been in my room. I found his tiny soot covered rodent footprints on my window ledge along with his droppings. Why were these furry jerks after ME? Why not torment my sister or my mother?! I mean seriously, this wasn’t funny. And Nickie, I STILL don’t think it’s funny!
When I believed the coast was clear, I ventured out of my room, and back into our home which was now part of Snow White’s Enchanted Forest. Turns out that squirrel panicked a little when I started screaming. He flew from the kitchen into the dining room, kept right on going to the music room, and then committed suicide as he flew into our Christmas Tree.
Great….Now we’ve got a dead squirrel hanging from the limbs of our tree. How decorative. Ugh! I made it abundantly clear that I did not care how the squirrel was removed; I just wasn’t helping. Somehow my dad had managed to dodge the bullet on this one. He was out of town on business, so my mom conned the pastor next door into removing the rodent from the tree.
I’m pretty sure we never lit Dad’s fireplace again. The flue was permanently closed, as my parents were afraid one more squirrel encounter might lead me to an early death or a padded room.
Now days I won’t even go outside if a squirrel is in the yard, I run past them in public parks, and I curse at them through windows. And of course my family finds this hilarious, and thinks that we should relive this moment every once in awhile, so they wrap up fake squirrels and give them as gifts. Maybe one year I’ll wrap up an alligator and give it to them. Hateful people! So if you are in a park and you see a lady running at full speed while yelling obscenities at the wild life, don’t worry. It’s just me having a minor squirrel meltdown. And as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”