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Rated: E · Short Story · Animal · #2260747
An ongoing battle between myself a tenacious squirrel, who I've dubbed as Satan
As I sat working on my home computer, I suddenly saw movement from the corner of my left eye. I turned and looked, there through the window, and sitting in my front yard, sat my 8” tall nemesis! Sitting as still as a statue, and glaring right at me. The nerve of the little bugger! Upon seeing he had my attention, he then had the audacity to start laughing, I mean really laughing. Holding it's gut, rolling on the ground laughing, and the whole while pointing at me! When I stood up and approached the window, the little tyrant stopped and also stood.

While giving me a steely stare, he then put his little left hand on the inside of his right elbow, while at the same time, then bending the arm to face the sky. As the arm went up, he began making a fist with the middle finger extended. With one harsh motion, he shoved it towards me. Was this little *!@t flipping me off!!! Yes by gosh, he certainly was!, and he wasn't done. No, he then turned around pointing his backside at me, and vigorously began wiggling his rear, all the while curling his fluffy gray tale, and swishing it up and down. The thing looked like one of those New Years Eve horns, the ones that when you blow, they uncurl. When I started to open the widow he froze, and then ran off like a bolt of lighting. That's it, this war is not over!

Maybe I should backtrack to the beginning of this little saga. It started approximately six years ago, or so.

There was a time when I had a nice beautiful garden, as well as, a half decent yard. It's funny how time has a way of changing all things. For me and my husband, the change started with my father-in-law being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Once we learned of his condition, and saw how difficult is was for my mother-in-law to care for him, the decision to have him come and live with us was made. We knew we could give him far better care than any nursing home, and doing this would also give my mother-in-law a well needed break. After year of caring for my father-in-law, another change. Since we were doing so well with my him, we decided to also bring my mother to live with us, same reason. Our thoughts being, we're set up for one, what's one more. This caring for two persons with Alzheimer's became a 24/7 job and left no time for anything else, especially a garden or yard. We cared for our parents and during the third year, my 82 year old mother passed away, then four months later, my 91-year-old father-in-law.

In the beginning, with our parents no longer with us, I felt lost, so I decided to look at all the things I had neglected during that time of care-giving. One of those neglected things had been our back yard, which by this time, was in a sorrowful state. It looked like a jungle of weeds, and nothing else. I knew I needed to make a game plan of how to get my yard get back into shape. The first step, to whatever I planned, entailed pulling all those weeds. Off I began my task with much zest and enthusiasm, yet, looking back I had failed to notice I was not the only one in my yard at that time. Unbeknownst to me, from the corner of my yard, there had been a pair of interested eyes watching my activity the whole time.

Finally, all the weeds were gone, and I could set about planting the many plants I had by then purchased. As I was surveying what was going where, I happened to work my way over to our sunroom. I went to grab a rake I had left leaning against the wall. As I grabbed the rack, I looked down and noticed a hole, or better said, a burrow, one leading right under our sunroom. I hadn't really noticed this burrow before, 1: because I just wasn't out there that often, and 2: there were several over grown potted plants that were hiding it. I could see, or imagined, it might have been made by a ground squirrel, especially since, while pulling weeds, I had seen a few running around the yard. Well that wasn't going to do. I pulled any and all potted plants away from the wall, and to my surprise, this little bugger had not only dug a burrow under the sunroom, but had a whole little underground tunnel running beneath all those potted plants I had just moved. From the looks of this elaborate labyrinth, he had obviously been at it for some time. It felt like a scene from Paint Your Wagon, I was waiting for the music to start playing, and Clint Eastwood or Lee Marvin walking around the corner (I wish),and the little creature would start running through all those tunnals.

I immediately filled the labyrinth, and then the main hole, with as much dirt and rocks as I could find. I packed it down hard, thinking, "no way that son of a beehive was getting through there". Ha! I guess I shouldn't have been so cocky, for I had dearly underestimated the little, you know what. Ground squirrels are extremely TENACIOUS. My packing in dirt and rocks were nothing for this guy, for now he not only dug up everything I had put down, he also extended the section by digging a new hole, making his home much larger. That showed me by gosh.

I knew I had to change strategies, and take this far more seriously. I sat up thinking most of the night until finally I formed a plan. I figured I would cover the whole area with pavers. There was going to be no way that little bugger would get through those. The next day, off to Home Depot I went, loaded my minivan with lots of pavers, and bags of sand. I meant business.

I dug out what dirt was in front of the affected area, to about 4” below the concrete patio. I then poured and leveled sand. One by one I set down those pavers until the area of, 5' x 8', was completely covered. I may be old woman by gosh, but I can still roar!

Success! The little bugger could not dig anywhere on that side of the sunroom. I was so happy that I danced a jig. I went to bed that night sleeping soundly, happy in the thought of knowing, I won. The next morning I went out to check my handy work, no signs of the enemy. I had a huge smile on my face, at least that was until I went to the other side of the sunroom, and to my horror, saw a freshly dug hole! UGGHHHHH!!!

Satan, as I had at this point named him, had not stopped with one measly hole, no, he opened up the gates of hell, gathered his army, and ordered them all to start digging holes under as many places as they could find. And they did! Holes began showing up everywhere. Under pots, stones, sidewalks, and plants. They dug up all of my flower and vegetable bulbs! Tulips, onion, daffodils, narcissus, lilies, you name it, nothing was safe. Upon seeing all of this, my blood pressure began rising, and choice words began spewing from my lips, F*$%#*s!

I stomped back into the house, booted up my computer. When all else fails, Google and YouTube it, they know everything, and boy howdy did they. One bit of information after another came up, who knew there were so many ways to get rid of rodents? Bingo, one bit of information caught my eye, rodents hate garlic powder. I can do that, logging into my Amazon account, I ordered a 5lb bag of garlic powder.

I spread that 5 lb bag of garlic powder throughout the yard, reaching every nook and cranny. My yard began to smell like a garlic factory. A thought came into mind, ground squirrel in garlic sauce, hummm, how would that be? Well, the powder seemed to work, for a while at least, but after about 3 months, they were back. Seems they had acquired a taste for garlic, and from then on couldn't get enough of it. UGGGHHHH!!!!

During the garlic powder trial, I took time to lay more pavers. This time I completely covered all areas around the sunroom, making sure not to leave any open spaces. I was approaching this war from all angles with a determination to win. During this stage of the battle, I also noticed I had another type of audience which had joined the party. It was a small family of crows. One by one, they began moving from different parts of the fence, getting closer, too, having the best views of me while I was working away. I could hear them squawking (probably laughing at me) the whole time. Not just them, but also, I noticed in the corner of the yard sat Satan. He, too, was watching me, snickering. I wanted to yell out some of my choice words, but I couldn't, because I noticed my neighbors could hear me. The heck with the neighbors, I couldn't hold it in any longer, “Gosh !-mn F*/@&$G Squirrels, and flying pcs of */#$s!”. This evil little vermin, and now his buddies, were bringing out the worst in me.

Time went by, while, on and on went this tortuous chess game. I'd come up with something that seemed like it would work, and Satan would retaliate by destroying something else. Is this how Bill Murray felt in the movie Caddy Shack? Rodents suck!

I guess another thing that was irking me was, across the street from our house is a creek, a REALLLY LONG CREEK! Thousands of squirrels could live there in blissful squirrel harmony. Plenty of oak trees loaded with acorns, and the creek for water. If they wanted my garden stuff, fine, just cross the street and take a little, then go back HOME ACROSS THE STREET! But nope, obviously, that wasn't going to happen.

Also bothering me was, where are the squirrel predators? We not only live across the street from a creek, but are also surrounded by wilderness. We have plenty of wild life, deer, raccoon, possums and even coyotes/ Especially coyotes, lots of coyotes, packs of coyotes. My neighbors won't even let their cats or small dogs out because the coyotes will eat them. Then why the heck couldn't those coyotes leave the dogs and cats alone, and get fat and plump by eating all these bleep bleep bleeping ground squirrels?

I finally reached the point of murder, their murder. I don't like killing anything in, or from nature, but this had gone on far too long. YouTube, show me whatcha got! On good old YouTube, I found a recipe that was supposed to eliminate, not only ground squirrels, but rats as well, which by the way, had also joined the party. The recipe would work without hurting other creatures, perfect. This sounded like a plan, so I gathered the ingredients, all of which were in my kitchen cabinet, mixed them up and placed the baits all around the house, around the fence, and throughout the yard. I forewarned my neighbor, who by this point had was in on the battle, about the possibility of seeing a bunch of dead ground squirrels or rats.

Day one, no action. Day Two, no action. Day three, all the bait dishes were knocked over, no sign of dead anything. Day four, my Nemesis, Satan, is watching me though my office window as he sits on the front lawn. Well you know the rest.

After Satan runs off, a thought comes to mind, don't fight nature because you'll, or should I say “I”, will never win. It is now winter and since I no longer have to worry about bulbs, as Satan has dug them all up, I think I'll focus on my trees. A rock garden is starting to sound better and better. We are in a drought after all. I could concrete everything, nothing could dig through that! Chicken wire wrapped around a raised bed, that might work? Naw, he'll climb over. YouTube, any more ideas? Satan beware!
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