Dear Mr. Squirrel and your girlfriend,
Dear Mr. Squirrel, your girlfriend, and your overly-curious offspring,
Dear Mr. Squirrel’s Entire Immediate Family, Extended Family, and Furry Friends,
I am a writer. I like to write early every morning. I like quiet at this time. No TV blaring. No lawn mowers rumbling and roaring. No uppity, clanking, rocking washing machines. No fighting cats. No barking dog. No ringing phone. No cell phone alerts that I have a new text or a new email or a Facebook notification. No wild creature disturbances.
Which brings me to you, Mr. Squirrel, and your ever-growing community, which is also responsible for the recent destruction of my husband’s shed. Yes, we noticed the plastic siding torn from the sides of the building, the same plastic being used in your massive nests in our trees. You and your furry friends are also the reason we must restock bird seed on a daily basis. I will need to sell a book solely to support your current lifestyle in our yard.
Now I understand that you are hungry, and that you and your buddies view our property as a promising source of ongoing food. I understand that it is your nature to embrace perseverance. I admire this quality. Writers need to embrace a path of perseverance. Except when that path is riddled with noise and squirrel-influenced interruptions.
Yes, our aged dog barks more frequently due to his recent loss of hearing. But you egg him on with your clever squirrel acrobatics: dangling from the tops of our squirrel-proof bird feeders. Leaping through the air from my husband’s woodpile, only to now plunge to the ground since he’s set it further away from the feeder after seeing my photographs.
Do you give up? No, of course not! Why should you? You’re a squirrel, and now your entire community is copying you. I might as well supply you with colorful costumes, a trampoline, and a tightrope. I can invite the media or shoot a video for YouTube, and then continually check my stats. Not happening. Though our granddaughter is nothing less than thrilled by this prospect and has designed tickets she wants me to print out so she can sell them to our neighbors.
I don’t have time to host a circus of squirrels in my backyard.
I’d rather write.
So for the past few weeks, I’ve kept the door to my writing room shut, put up a BIRD FEEDING ZONE sign outside, and tried to convince myself that Old Dog was not barking incessantly.
Today, I heard a banging on my front door. It sounded like a person knocking. So I stopped mid-paragraph in an important revision, and headed down the hall, into the living room. There was an edge of anticipation. I am expecting a number of books. Books I am anxious to read.
I opened the front door and looked straight ahead.
No delivery person.
I looked down.
No package left on the ground.
No anxiously awaited books.
Only two squirrels, one of which I presume was you, Mr. Squirrel.
And when I refused to invite you inside, not just because the dog was going nuts upon seeing your face pressed against the glass, you sat down. You stared at me, you and your friend or brother or sister or spouse or offspring. And then, as if you blew on a little whistle to call in your troops, squirrels imploded onto our front deck, grabbing our white railing. I watched you spring to the edge of our picture window, and then swing into our window bird feeder with your not-so-little friend.
Two squirrels cannot squeeze together in the feeder. It is not a circus clown car.
And I did not appreciate watching my expensive bird feeder split in half as you two Numskulls forced your way free and crashed the feeder to the ground.
Lastly, it seems as if you have an identity crisis. You have taken to lounging in our porch chair for lengthy squirrel siestas, after which you drink from the hummingbird feeder. Which makes Old Dog bark until he passes out.
You are not a hummingbird, Mr. Squirrel.
Please relocate immediately.
A children’s writer seeking peace and quiet