Today’s post comes from Edith.
Jim’s comment “The squirrels around here seem to be unusually pesky” got me thinking about how much I hate squirrels. South Minneapolis squirrels seem to be especially hateable. People who say squirrels are “cute” either are crazy or they haven’t seen the squirrels in my neighborhood.
When I grew vegetables in my yard, it was an endless source of frustration to see tomatoes get almost to the point of perfect ripeness and then find it lying on the driveway with a squirrel bite taken out of it. The thought of eating a tomato that had been handled by one of those rodents deterred me from ever cutting off the bitten part; my compost pile was the only thing that benefitted from the squirrel leavings (and, actually, the compost pile didn’t benefit, either – see below).
I now only grow herbs and fruits and flowers in my yard. Squirrels like to dig in the planter boxes on the front porch or any freshly turned dirt and also do things like eat tulips off stems before they open their blooms. But at least they aren’t eating my food.
One time a squirrel got into my house. I’m not sure how…but you haven’t seen pure craziness until you’ve seen a squirrel dashing around your house at full speed.
We’ve all heard about how squirrels rob bird feeders of the bird food. If you have an open compost pile, to which you add food scraps, in your yard in south Mpls, you are basically operating a free restaurant for squirrels.
But the real reason I hate squirrels? They hate me. Here’s proof. Those of you who also live in the city of Mpls know that the big gray garbage bins the city provides us for our trash are pretty tough. But they’re not tough enough for south Mpls squirrels. Our diabolical neighborhood squirrels chewed a squirrel-sized hole in the lid of my trash bin. They would then go inside the bin and enjoy snacks (this was before I composted most of my food scraps). Then, I out I came, blissfully unaware of any danger, with a bag of trash to put in the bin. I threw open the lid – and SHAZZZAAAMMM out flew anywhere from one to three squirrels in my face. They ran away, laughing hysterically at my scream, and plotting when they can do that again.
I learned to kick the trash bin several times and then stand back before I lifted the lid. After the squirrels escaped, I gave it another kick, then waited to make sure they were all gone before I carefully lifted the lid and tossed in the bag. But sometimes in my usual spacey way, I would forget to kick – and once again the squirrels would enjoy their dominance over me.
What “cute” object or animal drives you crazy?