Monday afternoon, 1:20 p.m. I just now looked the squirrel in the eye. She is enjoying the 70 degree weather as much as I am and is not even trying to tippy-toe around the rafters of our screened porch where she has built an admirable, protected nest that evidences not survival of the fittest, but God’s common grace. From that perch, her offspring will have a long and prosperous reign over their inheritance.
For several weeks she snuck around at night pulling the stuffing out of the furniture until the fabric hung gnawed and the polyester filling frothed out. The porch chairs look like flayed rabies victims. But now that Andrew, b-b gun expert among other things, is off studying in St. Louis, the squirrel veritably whistles as she works in broad daylight, carrying the chair cushions into the rafters nibble by nibble and dropping as much on the tile floor until my porch is more to her liking, more hamster-cagey. Cheeky, as Mary Poppins would say.
I didn’t begrudge her the chair cushions. They were in their dotage. But when I saw evidence of her pickage at the new coverings on the swing and couch, the question became what to do.
One of the many ways to divide humanity is into:
A) those who would never move the nest (possible babies; I’m in her habitat and not vice versa, blah, blah, blah), and
B) those whose only question is should I put on goggles while I do it (germs, maternal claws).
I come from a long line of group B, and storms are coming in tomorrow night. So my window of time is short, and I must engage. It is not enough to hope the pecan tree breathes its last and falls in a lashing wind to obliterate the porch and its rodent. No, I’ve got the ladder in place, rubber gloves on, the broom in hand. Courage. Courage and faith.
I’m going in.