Larry, my husband of over 50 years, has had a love affair with his feathered friends for many years now. Our breakfast nook faces out to our deck where he has installed five bird-feeders to attract a variety from cardinals to our best friend, the large red headed woodpecker. Having a conversation with him at the breakfast nook is often difficult while I compete for his attention. . If I die first, a cardboard cut-out of big bird would be a good replacement for me, his loyal wife. His war with the rogue squirrels began with the installation of his first two bird feeders. They found every possible way to get to his concession stand—-by leaping from the deck, hanging upside down to suck nectar, and balancing on the umbrella stand above the feeder. “I will not be outsmarted by a squirrel,” said Larry.
One morning, while quietly enjoying our eggs and bacon, my 6’2” Marine husband witnessed the especially aggressive antics of Fred, the Olympic champion of champions. Larry jumped into action by pounding on the window and throwing open the door. Terror stricken Fred fell 15 feet to the ground with a well-earned bite of suet in his mouth. Larry took off to his favorite store, Home Depot, and bought a longer pole to extend the now 5 bird feeders further into thin air. And yet even then, a few like Fred, made their way to the tasty suet which attracted our colorful woodpeckers. “I will not be outsmarted by a squirrel,” Larry said. During a sleepless night, a brilliant idea came to him. He woke up, skipping his eggs and bacon, and bought plexiglass which he installed on the deck rail to prevent the squirrels from jumping to the bird feeders. The next morning, we saw paw and face marks on the plexiglass as the squirrels frantically tried to get through. Larry proclaimed victory. “See, he said, “I’m smarter than a squirrel.”
But then a couple months later, he felt a measure of compassion, especially for ferocious Fred. He began throwing out some seeds on the deck floor for his former nemesis.