THE SQUIRREL WHO WOULDN’T LEAVE – Marilyn Armstrong

When I bought a second, flat feeder, I knew the squirrels would enjoy it.

You can’t not feed the squirrels unless you live somewhere where there are no squirrels and where might that be? The best you can do is put up feeders which the squirrels won’t destroy.

Let’s hope the bears don’t show up.


So the hanging feeder is metal and guaranteed to survive attacking squirrels and the flat feeder basically says “Come one, come all.”

It took the squirrels about a week to discover the feeders. After that, it took another 48 hours to recognize I am a mere, powerless homeowner. So no matter what I tell them, they don’t have to go.

It’s something about me, I suppose. Garry says I’m a softie and everyone (everything) knows it. The first time I saw a fat squirrel sitting in the flat feeder, I tapped on the window and he was so surprised, he fell onto the deck and hit the stairs at a run.

Times change.

This morning I got up and there was a smaller (girl?) squirrel settled into the flat feeder munching down about two pounds of corn and sunflower seeds. I tapped on the window. She looked me squarely in the eyes and dove back into the goodies. I tapped again. She ignored me completely.

I finally opened the door and said: “Hey, Squirrel Girl, move your butt outta there.” She looked at me and I swear it could have been Bonnie giving me the same look. She took another mouthful of corn and didn’t even twitch.

“I said move it on out. You’ve had enough. Leave something for the other guests.”

No movement. She sat there munching corn. She had a calculating look, the same one I get from the dogs. “How fast can she really run? What’s she gonna do anyhow? Hey, this corn is yummy.”

So I finally went out onto the deck and said: “Run for it, squirrel, or you’re going to be MY dinner.” Very slowly, she emerged from the feeder, climbed down the upright and sat on the railing. Looking at me. I said, “Go. I mean it.”

She walked — slowly — to the top of the stairs and sat there. I approached. She went down a couple of steps. I stomped on the deck. She went down two more steps. I waved my hands around and finally, she left. It was obvious the moment I wasn’t there, she’d be back. Even if I am there, she will still be back. There are fearless squirrels in my forest.

“Are you going to give her a name?” Garry asked.

Goodbye! Actually, she was jumping INTO the flat feeder, not out of it.

This squirrel is not a visitor. She has moved in. She is now one of the kids and will expect high-quality victuals from this day forward.