Close your eyes and picture a walk in the park or a forest and a squirrel jumping down from a tree into your path – a happy image? Well, I would have said definitely so, until I found out what those furry creatures are capable of.
It all started last year, when a roof started leaking in the middle of the winter. A roofer came to examine it and told me that there was a hole in one of the tiles, so it was easy to fix – all he needed to do was replace the tile. I was puzzled to see a photo of a tennis ball sized hole on the roofer’s iPhone and became even more so when I was told that the tile was… eaten by a squirrel. Wait a second, the cute little squirrel that we all love to feed nuts? The bushy-tailed creature that is such a lovely character in kids cartoons? Yep, that’s the one! How its stomach digests it and the teeth don’t get broken – should I ask a squirrel for the name of the toothpaste brand it uses – were the questions at the forefront of my mind. However, with the source of the leak fixed and other things needing my attention, I forgot all about it, until very recently that is, when I came out of the door in the morning… to find my garbage thrown around, like a rave party took place without me participating in it but having to clean up. Maybe there was a strong wind during night-time, might you ask? Well, it has been happening daily now for the past couple of weeks and the tops of both of my rubbish bins have taken quite a ‘biting’ from the sharp-toothed brown vixen.
The boiling point happened when I arrived back home a couple of days ago, to see a cute creature sitting on a fence, without a care in the world, eating a banana skin and not even bothering to move its ears as I approached. I felt anger inside, looking at the rubbish that yet again I would have to collect and put away. Was I tempted to take a stone, if I had one in the vicinity and throw it? I would be lying if I said that the thought didn’t cross my mind. Instead I took a breath-ok, quite a few (!), taped the bin tops with black tape, cleaned everything up… and put it in a place where the squirrel won’t have access to it-well, at least I hope it won’t or there will be drama.
Ultimately a squirrel taught me a few valuable lessons:
– use the sink extractor more often if you have food leftovers,
– try not to stock up too much food in the fridge, so you have no choice but to throw it away if it goes past its ‘sell-by date’,
– think about the people for whom, sadly, daily food remains a luxury and try to appreciate what I have,
– rubbish trucks do come weekly, but there are lots of people living on planet Earth, we all produce rubbish, it doesn’t just disappear – it goes somewhere & affects the environment we all inhibit. I will think twice not only about throwing things away from now on but also about new purchases.
And if the same thing happened to you, do let me know if you have any other handy tips that won’t harm the animal but will offer a solution to the problem at hand.
Image courtesy of Chris Johns