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I think the world is divided into 2 groups of people- those who think squirrels are cute and those who hate them. I used to be in the first group. Now I think they're just rats with fluffy tails:

A few years ago a squirrel built a nest in our huge white pine tree. We watched her for weeks as she raised her babies, and one day in late summer we saw them leave the nest with her: 5 cute little baby squirrels!! We were delighted!

They discovered the bird feeder at our picture window fast- at first we thought they were adorable as these tiny mini-squirrels hung upside down at the feeder like acrobats- Murray and our old dachshund Hansel would sit and watch for hours, and so would we. Then we realized they were not only tearing up the feeder, but the birds wouldn't come anymore. Down came the feeder.

As the babies got bigger, they started to sit on the window ledge and chortle at the dogs, waving at them with their little grey hands- the dogs started going nuts: bark bark bark bark bark- just made the squirrel gang on the window ledge chortle and wave more.

Autumn came. They decided that the loft in our log shed would be the ideal residence - no leaving home and staking out new territory for these guys! Going into the shed became an adventure. As we went through the door to grab a rake or whatever, a squirrel or two, full-grown by now, would come rocketing down from the loft, leap over our heads and fly out the door-

We tried to get rid of them- "moth balls" someone said- they thought these were toys. "Get a 'have-a-heart' trap" someone said- it became their desert buffet-

Winter came. Snow came. We didn't see the squirrels.

In late February I went out to the shed to get some potting soil. I had forgotten about the squirrels. As I entered the shed three full grown bull-size squirrels rampaged down out of the loft trying to use my head as a spring-board to escape out the door- the other 2 began bouncing off the walls trying to find another escape route.

When they had all exited, I took inventory in the shed: they had certainly had an entertaining winter. No hibernation here: it was apparent that they had found much to amuse themselves on those cold snowy days: my birdhouses were torn apart- the lawn furniture was gnawed and shredded, clay pots had been knocked off ledges and lay smashed on the floor-a roll of tarpaper we had stored in the loft had been shredded and used for bedding, although most of it seemed to cover the floor like black confetti-

So this is what I did: I picked up a big can of Raid that had survived the mayhem,and I sprayed the loft. I sprayed the door. I sprayed the walls.

And they never came back.
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