Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Growing up in West Texas, there were no squirrels.  There were snakes and armadillos and lizards and horny toads.  I remember chasing the horny toads around the yard, cornering them and crouching in front of them for ages to see if they'd spit blood out of their eyes.  As for mammals, other than dogs, cats and horses, the only creatures the West Texas desert appeared to have to offer were field mice.  I know this intimately.  A mouse passed away on the curtains in my childhood bedroom.  I discovered it one night as I was lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling thinking about ewoks or rainbows or something.  I haven't been the same since.

But, yeah, no squirrels.  In the years since I've been gone, however, there's been a squirrel explosion.  A couple must've hitched a ride into town on a WalMart truck or something.  This makes me laugh.  My home town is in the middle of the desert.  There's not a lot of trees and it's completely flat.  There wouldn't be anything green if water wasn't being pumped in from another part of the state for the lawns, golf courses and football fields.  So, squirrels couldn't exist there without humans.  I wonder what my beloved horny toads think of their new non-indigenous neighbors.

On Sunday, my dear old dad walked into his closet and came face to face with a squirrel.  I have no idea what I would have done in this situation but my dad handled it by closing the door to the closet and taking my mom out to lunch.  I spoke to him and my mom right after they ate.  I told them to call Animal Control.  I was a little concerned for the critter.  My dad collects guns and always hits his target at the shooting range.  I thought the squirrel might end up a hat.

Turns out Animal Control was closed for the next two days because of the holiday.  Other options discussed were:  sticky paper (them), naming the squirrel and keeping it as a pet (me), a baseball bat (them), letting lose the miniature poodle, Lightning, on the squirrel so maybe he could chase it out the front door (me), Lightning killing the squirrel (them), Fed-Exing my squirrel-crazed mutt Hogie down there to take care of business and for a nice vacation (me).

At press time, there have been no squirrel sightings in almost two days.  Some items in my dad's closet were apparently askew but that's it.  We are all hoping he went out the way he got in.  (He chewed a hole through the wall with his super strong squirrel teeth.)  I've been enjoying myself tremendously.  Every time I think of my dad seeing the squirrel, I laugh like I'm Beavis.  (Or is it Butthead?)  I've been posting photos of squirrels playing banjos on my mom's Facebook page (Caption:  Have you seen this squirrel?).  Last night I texted her a photo of my dog eating a squirrel toy.

I can't seem to help myself.  I find it hysterical with a dash of hilariousness.  I think this squirrel thing could keep me entertained for at least the next week or so easy.  So, next time there's a furry little woodland creature stuck in your house in the middle of the desert, please let me know about it.  I'm easily entertained and I don't have cable.

*photo by CalifornianEm.

UPDATE:  Squirrel friend passed away.  He was found lying on his side next to my dad's cowboy boots, which may or may not have killed him with their smell.  My mother would like you all to know he was buried in a high quality Glad bag.  R.I.P Squirrel Friend.