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.

9 thoughts on “Don’t Feed The Wildlife

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  1. Where I am it’s bigger rodents I worry about. After the shuttening, rats fled Portland and flocked to the outskirts, suburbs and outliers. The contagion was mitigated. I trapped the invaders and crushed them with shovels.

    The woodchuck is my enemy. Him and his goddammit happy merchant jazzhands. So far that fat little bastard has survived traps, my finding and collapsing his tunnel, and a grazed bullet. It had achieved levels of body positivity previously unimagined by local wildlife by eating ALL my herbs, beans and ground crop. (Didn’t have the cash to raise crops this year. Dirt went up.)

    Anyway, fatwah and jihad has been declared upon the mother of abominations. I will eat the woodchuck. In a stew. Of my making. If you are what you eat, I won’t need oregano, beans, squash, basil or tomatoes.

    You wanna know the worst of it? Down syndrome woodchuck killed itself. I was doing a trashfire one day and the dumb fuck did an Indian Bride and walked into the fire of its own volition and then died. Literally, achievement unlocked: reeeeeee.

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    1. This is hilarious!! The clever little bastard evaded you for however long and then walked right into a trashfire. Ha! Thanks for the morning laugh!

      My father-in-law and his neighbor had a similar problem decades ago with a pesky gopher. They laid traps, flooded the burrow with hoses down each entrance, played whack-a-mole with shovels at various entrances, and god knows what else. In the end, they fed it bubblegum and died of constipation or some other gnarly gastrointestinal issue. A bit anti-climatic, if you ask me.

      Liked by 1 person

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