A Squirrel’s Tale
Perhaps this is partially my fault because I feed birds, squirrels, ferals and an occasional human. Went out to sit on my patio for a moment on January 12th and immediately noticed there was a hole in my house that had not been there before. The hole was just above the roof of my kitchen and upstairs bath. After the instant feeling of panic, went upstairs and to the attic to see if my home had actually been breached. Looked like everything was ok inside. Checked the position of the windows and roof line and figured out that I was not capable of dealing with the hole myself. From then until February 23rd was an interesting and upsetting time for me. Figured it was a squirrel which was eating my house because I had trapped and carried off the coons. Since I knew that squirrels normally jump from tree to tree and perhaps from tree to my house, I called the tree guy. I had all the trees cut back from the house in the past but perhaps one had grown close enough to jump to my house from it. I also knew the tree guy had a lift and asked him if he could patch the hole from the lift while he was working on the trees. He said “ no” that the lift was too deep. After he came and looked at the trees I wanted trimmed, have not heard from him again. Guess he did not realize that a squirrel eating my house was a real problem for me and that I wanted it stopped just as soon as possible! Next I talked to one of my neighbors who was perfectly willing to try to crawl out of a window and fix a ladder to the roof and try to fix the hole. I woke up at 4 am many nights worrying about the possibility of someone being hurt trying to fix my roof and eventually told him that I was just too worried about someone getting hurt and not to try it. This fear may have something to do with my uncle, Floyd Randall, falling off a roof and dying as a result when I was really young. Next I checked with a contractor who said he couldn’t get to it till late spring or summer. By then the whole south side of my house could be squirrel lunch! Tried my home service company next. Thank goodness they were wiling to give it a try as soon as the temperature was warm enough to not damage the shingles. The quote of $899 for a couple of guys with a ladder however left me a bit shaken but at least they were willing to do it! Then I called Hancock County animal control. He called me back while I was standing in the yard staring at the house. Told me he was actually the dog catcher but was very nice. He suggested trying to trap the demon squirrel. He also said they would not climb up the house and was probably jumping from a tree to get on the roof. While I was actually talking to the animal control person, the squirrel climbed down from the roof while I was watching him. So much for not climbing up or down the side of the house to the roof. During this six week period, the demon squirrel would come and tap dance on the roof, stick its head in the hole, chew on the wood shingles, toss wood pieces on the roof and just climb higher on the roof when I yelled at him or barked at him. Sometimes I thought I could see the evil gleam in its beady black eyes and the smile on his face as it taunted me! Called our policeman because thought he had been a Marine and I hoped that he was a sharpshooter. Said he could not shoot a gun in town.
Enter my “ knight in shining amour”. Another friend offered to try to fix the hole and discourage my demon squirrel. After much thought he purchased a telescoping ladder. I did not know there was such a thing. He also purchased a long strong rope and roof mounts for the end of the ladder which hooked over the roof ridge and had rollers to roll the ladder up the roof. The first day that the weather was warm enough, the campaign began. The rollers worked. The ladder went up the roof. The ladder was flipped over and the hooks went in place just fine. A rope was tied to a very strong tree and around the waist of my hero. After he made a trip or two to the roof, I began to relax and turns out watching a guy fix a hole in your house is not such a bad way to spend a warm afternoon! I am now the one smiling instead of the squirrel. Hasn’t tap danced on my roof since Tuesday. I am still feeding the squirrels. There was no need for it to eat my house in the first place. They have both oil sunflower and ear corn. Ingrates!
The Plymouth American Legion is sponsoring a soup and sandwich supper at the Legion on the west side of the Plymouth Square on Saturday March 6th. The supper will run from 5:30 to 7:30. A free will donation will be accepted for the chili, oyster, vegetable or cheesy potato soup and sandwiches.
The weather has turned. I have several types of flowers peeping through the ground. Have some flower buds in place. Enjoy the spring like weather. The report is for warmer than normal temperatures for the next 90 days. I am ready! Have had both my covid shots so things are looking up. Shots, warmer weather, no squirrel eating my home. Thank you Lord. Scatter Kindness.