An un­con­di­tional squir­rel sur­ren­der

Record Observer - - OPINION -

I have de­feated the squirrels. That is to say that I’ve reached a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment. Mean­ing I of­fered them my un­con­di­tional sur­ren­der. I did this by re­mov­ing the bird feeder from my yard. The squirrels had ze­roed in on the bird feeder like Mother Teresa ze­ro­ing in on a leper child.

I didn’t want them around my house since they can eat through wood, wiring, cop­per pip­ing and any­thing else that gets in their way. They seem con­tent now to eat mul­ber­ries in the back yard which is away from the house.

I’m not alone in my loathing for these tree rats. I’ve been of­fered many sug­ges­tions as to how to get rid of them. Many people thought trap­ping them was a good idea but I fig­ured I’d just be trans­fer­ring the prob­lem to some­one else. Mrs. Payne in Eas­ton sug­gested I get a hawk to ter­ror­ize them. She in­cluded a pic­ture of a hawk feast­ing on a squir­rel. I don’t think the birds would ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing a hawk hang­ing around.

Basil Har­ri­son sug­gested shoot­ing them and quite glee­fully told me the num­ber he’d bagged. Un­for­tu­nately I live in town where it’s tech­ni­cally il­le­gal to shoot them. Also, I had one only ten feet away from me in the sights of my Daisy BB gun and missed him by three feet. I did put a hole in my fence, though.

A cor­re­spon­dent from Eng­land writes that the gray squirrels have over­whelmed the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion of red squirrels, which are ap­par­ently much beloved in Eng­land. The gray squirrels were in­tro­duced to Eng­land by Amer­i­can GI’s dur­ing the Se­cond World War. And while the Bri­tish are gen­er­ally happy with our ef­forts on their be­half dur­ing that con­fla­gra­tion, they’re be­gin­ning to have se­cond thoughts. This may be be­hind their new anti-im­mi­gra­tion stance and their exit from the Euro­pean Union.

More dis­turb­ing than all of this is the news from Detroit that a woman trained squirrels to at­tack her ex-boyfriend.

Forty-five-year-old Jan­ice Smith was ar­rested by Detroit Po­lice for al­legedly trap­ping nu­mer­ous squir­rel and train­ing them to at­tack her exboyfriend. The vic­tim, James Robin­son, says he was at­tacked by the squirrels on more than a dozen oc­ca­sion over the last month. (why did he keep go­ing back?) The at­tacks caused him to lose two fin­gers and one tes­ti­cle. Mr. Robin­son had no idea why the ro­dents were at­tack­ing him un­til he no­ticed one day Ms. Smith cheer­ing them on. He said, “She was par­tially hid­den be­hind some bushes, but I could clearly see her and hear her. She was yelling or­ders at the squirrels and or­der­ing them to at­tack me.”

He called the po­lice and in Ms. Smith’s res­i­dence they found a dozen cages con­tain­ing 27 squirrels. They also found two train­ing dum­mies with Mr. Robin­son’s pic­ture taped over the faces.

Detroit Po­lice Chief James Craig said, “Ms. Smith con­fessed to cap­tur­ing and train­ing squirrels to harass and at­tack her ex-boyfriend. She used to train li­ons for a cir­cus, so it was easy for her to make an­i­mals do as she wanted. She said she hoped to raise an army of up to 50 or 100 an­i­mals.”

Ms. Smith is fac­ing up to 65 years in prison. No de­ter­mi­na­tion has yet been made as to what to do about the trained killer squir­rel army.

Be very care­ful out there.

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