In a previous post, I confessed to my readers that I have a habit of squirrel-watching. The following story began developing only days after that post graced my homepage.
I woke one morning a couple of weeks ago with the usual spring in my step. (This is a joke. I am not a morning person.) I followed my normal routine: climbed down from my loft, freshened up a bit, started the kettle going for my tea, and walked over to my bedroom window to view the morning bustle at the birdfeeder.
My jaw dropped.
There was a trap underneath the feeder. A squirrel trap.
I yawped, ran into the kitchen, grabbed my roommates, and drug them into my room to view the monstrosity. They did their best to console me but the dirty truth remained… there was a squirrel trap underneath my favorite squirrel(bird)feeder.
This is when a plan developed. It was just before April Fool’s Day and my roommate Andrea remembered a stuffed animal squirrel that was on sale at her place of employment. Later that day, that very squirrel (complete with a cap, helmet and flight goggles) was sitting on our kitchen counter. Our aim was to put the squirrel in the trap as an April Fool’s joke, however… we chickened out. I don’t know the neighbor lady well and feared she would find our joke to be obnoxious or disrespectful.
So the squirrel was left on the Shelf of Glory for a time. (Enter side story: the Shelf of Glory is where my roommates and I collect all the random trinkets that amuse us. Items included are either laughable, utterly random, or simply inspire the “what!?” reaction. We can vote items off if it gets too full, but Black Santa will forever hold the position of honor in the center.)
On Tuesday, my mother stopped over to say hi. She commented about the super-squirrel lingering on our TV and I told her of his intended purpose. So my mother, with all her boldness, grabbed the squirrel and tromped on over to the side of the house to stuff him into the trap. After she accomplished the daring feat, we ran back inside and began surveillance. I still don’t know whether the neighbor was amused or not, but I sure was.
The stuffed squirrel stayed in the trap the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon as I was putting away my laundry, I stepped by my window only to jump back out of sight. The neighbor lady had the trap in her hand and was digging the squirrel out. I didn’t see the expression on her face, but she didn’t appear to be muttering obscene things as she worked so I’m hopeful that she enjoyed our joke.
But the victory lies here: I checked back later that afternoon when I deemed it safe to look, and the trap was gone! Hooray! I also note, with pride, that it has not returned.
The moral of this story is that practical jokes are generally undervalued as a way to get across an important message. (I do not recommend over-applying this moral in your life.)
And now, I am ever so happy to say: enjoy your birdseed, squirrel-friends.