Winter is Coming


SquirrelI work at home because it’s the only way I can get a window seat. Lately, I’ve been keeping an eye on neighborhood vagrants. It doesn’t look good.

My window looks upon an empty house; empty except for the furry creatures underneath. There are over 1,500 species of rodents on earth, and I think most of those live next door.

A few years ago, a squirrel steadily emptied a neighboring attic of its pink Corning fiberglass insulation and built a hideous nest on my roof. I could hear every time it dropped from the adjacent pine tree onto my house.

For the past month, alongside my chimney, I find daily deposits of chewed wood and masonry, and sometimes yellow insulation. Varmints getting ready for winter, alright. Or maybe something else.

Yesterday I saw a mohawked black squirrel, piercings glinting in the sun, shake down an unsuspecting cat. The cat had previously been dragged across the lawn, its jaws clamped on a crow’s foot, but it wanted nothing to do with a badass squirrel. I don’t blame it.

Today I let out my dogs.  On the lawn were three squirrels, waiting. Thug squirrels, relaxed and cocky.  I didn’t go inside, fearing they might try to carry away one of my 24-pound Cavaliers.  The dogs sensed my anxiety and didn’t bark.  Good idea – avoid provocation.

As I gaze on the house next door, I think I know why it’s not selling.  The rodentia have numbers on their side at this point.  Who wants to take on that kind of fight?  I know the creatures are eying my place, too.  After that, who knows?  School Board, Town Council.  They’re already in, it’s just a matter of time.  Nuts and fiberglass for all.