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The Battle with the Red Squirrel (standard:non fiction, 1517 words)
Author: Amy BuchananAdded: Aug 30 2006Views/Reads: 1593/898Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A true story about dealing with a furry gobbler while feeding the birds.
 



I try to get along with all animals. I love all animals small and large.
I never thought that any animal would aggravate me to a crazed mode. 
One small beady-eyed creature would rattle my temper. It would cause me 
to resort to insane measures to rid my life of this critter. This 
creature was a red squirrel. This squirrel is hardly bigger than a 
robin, the whole species generally known for its feistiness and raiding 
of bird feeders. 

I love watching birds and enjoy feeding them. I had visited a friend's
house and noticed he had installed a wooden platform outside attached 
to the window. This way the birds could be viewed up close when they 
fed. I was eager to dash to the hardware store and install my own 
platform feeder. 

I had battled with a red squirrel before; this is when I lived next to a
woods. I hung a bird feeder off a pine tree branch. I tried 
unsuccessfully to keep this red squirrel off my feeder. I first chased 
away the red squirrel whenever I saw it on the feeder. I also wrapped 
plastic wrap around the top of the feeder and slapped petroleum jelly 
on top. This did not deter the red squirrel. It would leap nimbly off 
the branches on to the side of the feeder, avoiding the top. 

I thought that if I installed a platform feeder any red squirrel would
not be able to reach it. There was no tree nearby or telephone pole for 
it to jump off to reach the feeder. There was only the roof of the 
house up above; I did not think a red squirrel would leap fifteen feet 
from the roof to the feeder down below. There was the roof of an 
enclosed porch below where I wanted to install the platform. The 
nearest tree from the enclosed porch was fifteen feet away. 

I installed the platform outside my bedroom window and placed a wooden
bird feeder on top. I also hung a suet cage on the side. I made my own 
suet and filled the feeder with black sunflower seeds. I waited for the 
word to spread among the bird populace that a new snack station was 
out. Soon I was counting many species of birds visiting the feeder 
daily. 

One day, to my disgusted amazement a red squirrel was draining my feeder
of seeds. I pounded on the window; it continued to stuff its face. I 
pounded louder and yelled, it still filled its face with seeds. 

After this the red squirrel returned every day. I thought if I made sure
the feeder was always full, I would not have a problem. However the 
problem became more aggravating. This red squirrel was not content in 
stuffing its face with seeds; it had to drag the feeder off the 
platform on to the porch roof below. This rankled my temper. Nothing 
irked me more than hanging out the window in the winter with a broom 
handle trying to snag the rope on top of the feeder. This happened 
often. Sometimes the red squirrel dragged the feeder too far away to 
reach with the broom handle. I tried to snag the feeder with a thin, 
long plastic pipe, but the pipe was too flexible to be of much use. The 
only way to retrieve the feeder was to climb out of the window over the 
platform and down to the porch roof. 

I boiled over. I was determined I would find a way to keep this red
squirrel off my feeder. A notion developed in my mind that if I 
frightened the squirrel so drastically, it would not want to come back. 
So began a battle with a determined foe. I soon discovered that no 
animal is more determined and persistent than a red squirrel. 

My younger brother mentioned to me that he could kill the squirrel. I
did not hate the red squirrel enough that I wanted its life 
extinguished. The squirrel had a right to live and eat as much as any 
other animal. The red squirrel thought I was helping it out by putting 
out a nice buffet of sunflower seeds. I was certain that if I jangled 
its nerves it would stay away. 

I devised my first plan. I placed my stereo next to the open window. I
waited and the red squirrel soon came. It was so bold to fill its tummy 
even though the window was open and I was sitting on the other side. I 
let it stuff its mouth for a few moments. I turned the volume knob up 
to the maximum and switched the stereo on and let the music blare! The 
red squirrel zoomed off the feeder in a fast flash of red. A point for 
me! It returned the next day and I let the music rock again. Still it 
returned again; blasting music was not much of a deterrent for this 


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