Omir the Storyteller

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Nature Can Be So Entertaining


So I'm sitting at my computer this morning, getting ready for the day, when I hear a scrabbling sound at the window. I look up and there, sitting in the lower right hand corner of the window that looks out of the office onto the patio, is this squirrel.

Now I have nothing against squirrels, really I don't, except that they are destructive little rodents. I'm happy enough to have them as part of the urban landscape, as long as they aren't destroying the house.

I watch this squirrel for a minute. It's plainly obvious what's going on; he's trying to get to the bird feeder stuck in the middle of the other half of the window. I just filled it yesterday, and it's got to be a tempting target for Rocky and his friends.

Well, the squirrel goes away, but I know he hasn't given up. A squirrel's thought processes are not all that complicated, and can be programmed something like this:

if it_is_going to eat me():
if it_looks_like_it_is_going_to_eat_me():
if it_looks_edible():
if it_looks_like_i_can_chew_on_it():

I finish reading the mail and am about to go see if my granddaughter is ready for school yet, when I hear a thump at the window. I turn, watch, and there's another thump accompanied by the sight of this squirrel. I don't know what he's using for a launching pad, but he's trying to jump up to the bird feeder, and missing it by a good six inches. This is amusing, but I have to go check on school progress.

At about five minutes until time to leave for school I realize the light is on in the office, so I go to shut it off, and the parasol over the table on the deck is shuddering. I go to investigate, and there's Rocky again, chewing the edge of the parasol, which is obviously blocking his route to the birdseed. I rattle the blinds on the window and he goes away, but I see him not long after. He's on the railing on the back on the deck, and his tail is twitching to beat the band. He is obviously not happy about something. I think that something might be me. I certainly hope so, in fact.

The final act in this little drawn-out drama occurs as the granddaughter and I are on our way out the door. Who should we meet up with but this fuzzy, long-haired black cat who lives somewhere nearby. This cat is an old friend who occasionally thinks she has the right to go into our house, a thought we must occasionally disabuse her of. (I will not try to diagram out a cat's thought processes; it would take several volumes of closely-spaced obfuscated C code and most likely drive me over the edge of insanity.) Today we're just fine with her wandering around the deck, sniffing as she goes. I know she can smell the squirrel, and hope she can stick around. Just long enough for me to put a little Tobasco sauce on the edge of the parasol when I get home tonight.

Maybe some cat food is in order. Or maybe I'll put out some corn on the driveway to encourage the squirrels to stay off the deck. Like I said, I don't mind having the squirrels around as long as they're not destroying something. Trouble is, they never seem to be not destroying something. It is the Way of the Rodent.


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