Friday, February 26, 2016

The Creatures and The Wind

A few weeks ago, at the base of the gigantic tree near the driveway, I saw a piece of an animal. It was an inside piece of an animal. It was like bones and organs, or something like that. It was gross. I did what any normal adult would do. I took a picture of it, ran away, and texted the photo to Eddie so that he could see how gross it was, too.

I left it there for two days. I am not proud.

The conversation of which one of us was going to clean it up never came. On day three, it was gone. This is getting Biblical, isn't it?

We have a squirrel issue. The squirrels use our three large trees, one smaller tree, and village-owned-encroaching-on-our-property-dead-end shrubbery and trees as their playground. They use our lawn as a hide-n-go-seek-nut-burial-ground. The holes are growing in number and frequency. The number of squirrels skipping and hopping about is also increasing.

Sometimes one of them will sit on the highest branch possible and make a noise that at first you think is a bird but then you look up and see it's a squirrel and the squirrel does not look happy. I don't know exactly what a happy squirrel looks like, but when they make this noise, it is clear that they are not happy.

Basically, I'm scared of the squirrels.

I'm pretty sure they took the bones and organs. I don't know if they killed whatever it was, but they certainly took care of whatever was left.

If they didn't kill the animal, then it was the raccoons. They appear out of the sewer drain at our curb. One night, they appeared early, while people were walking their dogs. There was an animal stand-off right in front of our house. It ended with the dog walkers waving at us and shouting, Nice raccoons! Because they are apparently our raccoons.

So the other day after the snow started melting, I saw something on the lawn as I drove away. I thought it was maybe a newspaper. I forgot to check on it when I came home. Then again, the next day, it was still there. Again, I forgot to check when I returned from wherever I went.

On the third day, it was still there. No so Biblical anymore. Also, it was not a newspaper. It was pieces of a bird. Not a whole bird, but wings and feathers attached in some way. I didn't take a picture this time. This time, I simply ran away.

The next time I went outside, it wasn't there. "There" means on the front lawn. Nope, instead, it was at the foot of the gigantic tree near our driveway. And on the tree trunk, head towards the bottom and the bird pieces, there was a squirrel. This squirrel, either on its own or with some squirrel friends, had dragged the bird thingie over to the tree. Clearly, it was now trying to figure out how the hell to get it up the tree.

Usually, the squirrels run when they are on the ground or trunk. This squirrel just kept looking at me and then the bird and then me and then the bird. It thought I was going to take the bird pieces. How do I know this? Well, what else would it be thinking if it wasn't running away? So I did what any normal adult would do.

I ran to my car and drove away.

When I got back, the bird pieces were no longer at the bottom of the tree. The squirrel, either on its own or with some squirrel friends, had taken the bird pieces somewhere. It was not a raccoon because it was still midday.

Side note: We did see a raccoon the other night when the wind was whipping all the garbage and recycling bins down the street. We found that shining a bright light at them makes them go back into the sewer.

But back to the squirrels and the trees. During the same wind storm, the trees were shaking violently. Branches and leaves were raining down. These are the only trees I've ever seen that keep their stupid leaves in the winter, so that not only do I have to shovel, but I have to keep raking.

I hate these trees. I hate these three trees in the same way I hated the tree in the front yard that gummed up our sewer main. These trees are massive. One of them doesn't have only branches falling from it, but full-on logs. I shit you not, a log fell out of it once and if we'd been under it or a car had been under it, we and the car would have suffered some serious damage.

I mean, this tree has a tree growing out of it.

So here's the deal. The trees need to go away. If the trees go away, the squirrels go away. As for the raccoons, I can just pretend they don't exist if I stay inside after dark. That's the most adult decision to date.

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