Don’t Feed The Wildlife

Two weeks ago, our garden began blooming. Then, one week ago, the green foliage began to recede. Today, it fully disappeared. And today, I finally discovered why.

As I walked past the window overlooking the patio, I noticed a flash of movement. On closer inspection, I saw a small squirrel nibbling on a nasturtium leaf twice the size of its little body. I knocked on the window and the rodent held the leaf close to his chest as he looked around inquisitively.

I unlocked the door. Click. Click. Turned the knob. And pushed the door open with a creak. And the squirrel bolted into the closet that we have stuffed to the brim with planters and jumbo-sized bags of soil and perlite. Of course he would.

I shouted out, “That little fucker!” and my boyfriend rushed out, wearing a sly grin and wielding the key to the closet. He opened the door and started moving the excessive pile of gardening supplies off of the shelves and onto the patio. Once the front portion of the closet was cleared, he peered under the shelf. Nothing.

My boyfriend then pushed aside some sheets of wood, and there he was. Little Fucker had wedged himself between some dissembled shelving, still hugging his family-sized snack as tight as he could. The shelves shifted and the squirrel scurried around, assessing whether any of the walls had newly-developed holes. They didn’t.

My boyfriend used a long wooden rod to coax or, more likely, terrify the adorably evil rodent from his no-longer-secret bungalow. The little creature ran out, navigating past all of our now-empty planters, leaf in tow–a souvenir of the day’s adventure.

I thanked my boyfriend and then quickly reminded him that he was running late. “You caused this, you know,” he responded as I sheepishly looked down at my feet.

It’s true. Last summer, I tossed carrot tops to the squirrels every Saturday morning after the farmer’s market. In this hot and barren hellscape, I thought I was doing the neighborhood critters a favor.

In the last five hours, a scurry of squirrels–or perhaps just one naughty little bastard–have devoured nine planters full of flowers and herbs that I meticulously chose and planted.

I just watched a squirrel rip my firestick plant out of the ground and drag it back to his burrow. A burrow which, as of today, has an entrance just beyond my front door.

I now understand why people hate rats, gophers, and rabbits. I believe this situation calls for some chicken wire, resin owls, and rubber snakes.

I am never feeding the wildlife again.

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