Squirrels are no longer my favorite rodents.
In reality they never were my favorite rodents, but that’s probably just because I’m not a rodent fan – period. So saying they were a favorite rodent is like saying being set on fire was my favorite way to die.
But I digress – they’re no longer anywhere on the Christmas list. Let me tell you a little story about why.
I like to garden, and I’m a huge fruit fan. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, strawberries, cherries, whatever – I love ’em. So it’s no surprise that I have a garden, a couple of berry bushes and my pride and joy – two five-year old (mature) dwarf apricot trees. I’ve grown those bad boys from tiny little twigs to ten-foot tall trees. Trees which grow dozens of apricots for my picking and enjoyment.
A few weeks ago I looked at the tree and was astonished at how many of the small fruits were growing on the branches. I shook the tree to make sure the fruits were firmly attached and they were – bushels of the goodness, nicely secured to the tree and getting riper by the day. I tasted one just to see and it was a still crunchy and sour so I let the rest be, knowing that in just a month or so I’d be in apricot heaven.
Fast forward a few weeks. When I get home from work I notice a lot of squirrels in the yard but think nothing of it – they’re all over anyway, and they routinely run along the fence line (to taunt the cats, I suspect, but I can’t be sure and I’m not about to invest in a Squirrel Whisperer to find out). A few days later there were more, although this time they seem to have moved to the driveway. Maybe they were trying to figure out how to break into the garage and snag the five-alarm peanuts.
Or maybe, as I discovered this weekend, they were feeling guilty for stealing my apricots, because that’s what they did.
There are none left. Zero. Nada. Both trees are empty, devoid of anything every remotely edible (except maybe the bark, but I’m not really interested in testing that out).
I was heart broken. They couldn’t have taken the cherry tomatoes growing in the garden. They couldn’t have gone for the squash or the grapes. They couldn’t have been good rodents and gone after the habanero peppers and set themselves on fire. Oh, no – they had to go after my precious apricots.
(post image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)by