Night of the Wild Ones

I’ve been gardening a lot this spring. In fact, Memorial Day marked my planting finale and official launch of hand-to-hand combat with local squirrels.


This is not a new development.

For years, I’ve planted begonias one day only to find them exhumed the next. Show me a pile of surgically removed snapdragons and I’ll show you a grey squirrel tittering from atop the Weber grill. Squirrels have eaten the crowns off my cedar fence posts and the tops off my tennis shoes. Yesterday I caught one savoring my new broom while his mate worked on an Adirondack chair.

And this battle extends beyond summer. Last Christmas, my son artfully hung strings of holiday lights around our evergreens. The squirrels watched, eager to dissect his work.

That was just before I unwittingly placed plastic containers filled with holiday baking on the back steps. By the time I discovered my error, the cookies had been repurposed as rodent hockey pucks. They even ate the Kentucky Bourbon Balls, leaving nothing but rumpled candy wrappers. Squirrels must enjoy a nip of bourbon with their plastic.

So imagine my resistance to attending this year’s gala for the Up North Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

After all, I did attend their Wildlife hoopla last year. Incidentally, that celebration showcased a “Save the Squirrels” video accompanied by dance music and a greeter dressed in rodent attire. And that was just the first party surprise.

The evening’s host then shared a heart warming story about a couple that coaxed a white tailed deer into the back seat of their Volvo. They felt the deer looked peaked and required medical attention. However, their drive to the nearest veterinarian produced a Volvo interior in need of medical attention and a firm lecture from the vet who had to extract the perfectly healthy deer from the car.

Next on the agenda, an auctioneer took the stage and began taking bids for everything from Bass fishing boats to golf lessons. Big money started exchanging hands. By this time, guests were pretty far along with the cocktail hour. Some danced the twist in the aisles, while another group formed a conga line and made their way out the door into the night. A woman twirling on top of the silent auction table was escorted to her seat by the rodent greeter.

Meanwhile, a few guests started bidding on fictitious auction items

things like black bear cubs and pileated woodpeckers. About then, we decided it was time to leave before the police arrived.

So this is what happens when people get too invested in saving rodents. They knock back a few martinis and pretend they’re on Dancing with the Stars. I went to that party expecting to bid on a live trap for my backyard pests but was lucky to make it home without a litter of rescue squirrels and a citation for disturbing the peace!

This year I’m going to stay home with the furry pests and a few friends for dinner in the garden. We’ll offer a toast to the Up North Wildlife Rehab Center and hope nobody breaks a leg dancing.






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6 thoughts on “Night of the Wild Ones”

  1. You know, those squirrels disappeared for awhile, and I wondered if they went to rehab. Several guests from that party did go to rehab which, of course, was a good thing.

  2. Okay, Bourbon Balls? We used to make them for our big Italian Christmas Eve dinners at my grandmother’s house in Little Italy, NY. My sister and I would make both Bourbon and Rum balls. Years later, we deduced we were very drunk little girls going into Christmas. No wonder Santa always looked so fuzzy. So, if we couldn’t resist a taste, imagine how hard it is for squirrels.

  3. How can you blame the squirrels for their drunken behavior when YOU supplied them the bourbon balls? How old were these squirrels? Were they minors?

    1. Believe me there are plenty of minors getting trained in– well I guess I’m contributing. The real question is who can we blame for the drunken gala! They actually auctioned off a lot number consisting of nothing (zero, zip) for $10,000. I never heard what that person said when he looked at his checkbook the next morning.

    2. I have a mental picture now of a yard full of drunken squirrels, either passed out, singing off key or stumbling in a conga line, with little, empty pieces of aluminum foil fluttering in the wind.

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