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I hate squirrels

March 9, 2009

I ought to qualify that – for me this whole squirrel thing is very black and white (red and grey): red squirrels cute, grey squirrels bad.  So I certainly don’t dislike red squirrels – they are beautiful, fey little creatures with fabulously tufty ears.  Squirrel Nutkin was never one of my favourite Beatrix Potter books – I didn’t like to see Nutkin hurt – and I was an enthusiastic member of the Tufty Club when I was little.  We all went to the Baptist Church hall, and practised crossing the road on a pretend zebra crossing, and some lucky person had the job of dressing up as Tufty the giant squirrel to tell us to be safe.  When I was a bit older they introduced the Green Cross Code, and it was never the same.

So I have always loved red squirrels, and I used to think that I was pretty much indifferent to the greys, but the ones round here are getting bolder.  It’s my own fault, in a way, because I feed the birds, and the squirrels grow fat on the peanuts too, but there never used to be so many around here.  The husband has always called them fluffy rats, but I still sneakily admired their athleticism and poise.  So what has caused this overflowing of bile now?

Well, last autumn we did some major bulb planting (by my standards at least) in the little front garden – the new one after we had some building work done out the front of the house, and then had to keep dashing out to stop the little grey bastards from unearthing and eating them all.  We have a planting space in the low wall out front, and had to write off the first batch of crocuses and plant new.  This time we covered them and their accompanying pansies over with netting, held down with lengths of wood and it was at least reasonably successful, although they reached their thieving little paws through the netting wherever they could.  

This weekend, with the bulbs that have survived coming up nicely, it seemed like time to remove the protections, so that we could actually see them, otherwise it was rather defeating the object.  And now, our resident rodent with pr has just settled himself happily down and pulled off all the flower heads just for the fun of it.  I wonder how squirrel pie would taste?

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