The Motel 6 for Rodents
Spring has been threatening to arrive all winter and has finally done so. Unfortunately my cottage has become the Motel 6 for rodents during this past winter. Along with the budding trees and flowers comes the inevitable yard clean up. This is when I take stock of any household damages my little cottage suffered withstanding the winter and rodents. This year it was Rodents 3, Carol 0. You see, living out in the woods has its benefits enjoying the wildlife around you but sometimes it can be a human vs. animal battle reminiscence of Bill Murray and the rodent in “Caddyshack”. As I recall it didn’t end well for Murray’s character.
Through out the last few months we’ve been the home of rabbits, skunks, squirrels, mice, spiders and a snake. They apparently thought my abode looked pretty cozy for the winter and hunkered down. Cleaning out the garage was more like going through Wild Kingdom except I wasn’t in a car. Apparently the snake that lives in my garage hibernated all winter and broke our roommate agreement regarding the section of keeping the mouse population down. Mickey & Minnie Mouse opened up a saloon in a corner of the garage amongst some boxes. They musta’ put on one helluva variety act for half of the Pide Piper’s drunken rats it looked like.
By the lovely odor permeating my yard I noticed my shed became the a five star hotel for the Skunk Species. They had a party for sure and invited a few thousand of their closest rabbit friends over apparently. I got a feeling this spring is gonna be bringing some funky lookin’ black n’ white striped rabbits around the place. Whenever I pull down the long gravel driveway there’s a few dozen rabbits and a couple of skunks having a meeting or something and I practically run over a couple of them as they scatter. They always glare at me like I interrupted something important. “Whups, this meeting of the Easter Egg Distribution Department has come to an end due to the rude human driving through our conference room once again!” The kids will yell from the back seat, “Mommy, look out you almost killed the Easter Bunny!” and then lecture me on how I almost destroyed the upcoming holiday for all children through-out the world.
We did have one casualty amongst the squirrel’s nut gathering brigade this year, however. It was a freak accident I believe with the poor fellow getting too obsessive with his nut storage capacity. Kinda’ like watching one of those “Hoarder” TV Shows gone awry with the inhabitant getting trapped under their mounds of crap. Walking around the side of the house I looked at the gutter drain spout that runs from the roof down the corner of the house to the ground and runs off into the flower beds. About waist high up I noticed a hole the size of a golf ball in the middle of the pipe and it had a squirrel tail sticking out of it…. and it ain’t movin’. So, of course, I had to find a stick and poke it. Nope. That is one ex-squirrel. It is no more. Now the kids have run up and want to know what I’m doing of course and I lie and say that the little fellow is sleeping and not to wake him up. Checking out the end of the drain pipe he stuffed it so full with nuts that he could only get in from the hole three feet up; must not have been able to turn around and get back out, so he died upside down with his tail in the air… consumed by his own gluttony. What a way to go. It’s definitely somethin’ you don’t see every day – a dead squirrel butt hanging out of the side of your house.
Well, at least it wasn’t a shut out then: Rodents 3, Carol 1. I yell out the screen door to the rest of them, “That’s right, there’s been a casualty amongst the squirrel clan, so watch ya’ selves or I’ll be servin’ up some roast rabbit for Easter Sunday, boys!” I swear I heard a snicker followed by a “Talk to the paw, be-yatch”, but I couldn’t be sure.