Saturday, September 8, 2007

And she wore a black fur coat.....

Since retirement, I’ve had a lot more time to observe many different things. Today I’ll comment on the squirrels in my yard. Oh and an evil bunch they are too. My old dog, Tommy, lived in dog hell because of them. (Note:Tommy passed away a little over a year ago from old age, bless his doggie heart) They took pure delight in teasing him unmercifully. He was just a little guy (Lhasa Apso) but he was pretty fast. Not fast enough to catch a squirrel though…..and THEY KNEW IT. I think they had nightly meetings and planned their strategies for the next day. They were good too. Each one had his own duty to fulfill, his own personal bit of torture. They teased, they taunted, they bullied, they called him names. They would let him almost get to them and then rush off with the speed of light, shouting na na na na na and making faces. They would come down from the safety of their large commune in the big oak tree and park themselves just out of his reach and chatter insults at him. They threw acorns at him repeatedly. I’m not lying about this, honest. Oh you name it, they did it to him. They were relentless.

One holiday weekend during the summer my daughter and her family came over with the intention of staying for the fireworks and then just staying the night. She not only brought the kids, she brought her dog, Mollie, a black Lab. Molly and Tommy had met on several occasions and got along great, so we knew everything would be ok in that regard. It wasn’t long before the dogs wanted out, so out they went, into the backyard, into Tommy’s nightmare. The squirrels were waiting to carry out their fun. As soon as the dogs went out, the squirrels started coming down from their respective trees with glints in their eyes and smiles on their lips. The women and children were lined up on the telephone wires so they could watch the fun. What a cold bunch they were. One of them ran up to Tommy, did a last minute 90 degree turn and jumped onto the deck then to the roof where he hurled insults. Mollie watched. I think Tommy was telling her that this was his rotten life, this was the hell he was forced to endure. Another squirrel came down while the others egged him on and proceeded to taunt and tease poor Tommy. With the speed of which I’d never seen before, Mollie sprang into action. She was a black blur as she whirled, charged the squirrel and caught him at the base of the tree before he could even attempt to get off the ground to safety. There was a loud crunch, snap and she dropped his lifeless body on the ground. Tommy was in awe. He trotted out to her, sniffed the body and then looked up at her adoringly as if to say “my heroine”. Mollie brushed her paws off and casually walked back to the house with Tommy running circles around her, panting and whispering sweet nothings in her ears. He was infatuated and amazed. The squirrels were in shock.

I’m sure a town meeting was called immediately. The head squirrel announced that it was obvious there was a new dog in town and this one meant business. He announced his deep sorrows for his comrade and condolences for the family of the fallen but also stated that for the safety of the town in general they were going to have to leave the area. He sent them home to begin packing and set guards out to watch for the assailant in the black fur coat that had taken out one of their best. The squirrels disappeared from my yard. I don’t know where they went. I think they all went into the protected witness program because their fear was so great. I did not see them again until this summer. Yes….they're baaaack. It’s a whole new generation. I’m sure the elders all tell the story of the large black-furred one but these guys are young, fearless and don’t listen to the old folks. These guys come right up on my deck and look in the sliding glass door. They want me to know they have GUTS. They are wearing black leather, have tattoos and no respect for their elders. They frequently chew through my telephone wires just to prove a point. They are bullies of the worse kind.

I have a new dog. She’s still a puppy and is full of energy and curiosity. Abby is a rat terrier and has seen those squirrels and instinct tells her that she shouldn’t like them and she doesn’t. Abby is FAST. Because Abby can jump my chain link fence like it wasn’t there, I have to keep her on a 30’ tether. That’s the only thing stopping her from reaching the squirrels. They KNOW THIS and have begun their teasing. I know the squirrel elders are just shaking their heads at the ignorance of their young community but I’m sure they are remembering that in their youth, they did all the same things. *Sigh* I hate to bring violence to my peaceful little corner of the world, but I may have to get Mollie over here again.

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