Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lessons From Flo and Eddie

Sometime last year, two eastern grey squirrels decided to take up residence in my front yard – a small patch of peace and quiet one day and the next a chorus of chittering and barking as the two announced their presence to the world and the bored cat next door.

Squirrels have never come off as being overly intelligent, perhaps one notch above that moron of flying things, the mourning dove. Their alternating displays of spastic energy and trance-like stupor were amusing at first, but if those were all squirrels had to show, forget it. Besides, remove all their fur and what you have is a rat.

Refusing to let my mornings be ambushed by goggle-eyed rodents, I continued a long standing ritual of tea and solitude before heading off to work. My first mistake was the bag of peanuts, the raw in-the-shell kind, tossed onto the grass without a thought of the consequences.

To my surprise, Flo and Eddie scooted down the tree to investigate. The pair quickly realized a bonanza when they smelled it and eagerly scarfed down every goober. Afterward, they stared at me for a few seconds before going all spastic again.

It only took a few weeks before the couple had me trained to bring them peanuts every morning. After that, I had to remove squirrels from my dumb animal list.