One morning earlier this week I squinted into the mist beyond my bedroom window, enjoying the colors of fall on my patio. Everything appeared as it should, the quiet of the day slowly rising at the sun’s beckon. My gaze strayed to the bird feeder hanging against the concrete block wall behind it.
Except it wasn’t hanging. I stared.
The sturdy container tilted. No birds were at the feed tray, but I saw something inside. I tapped on the glass and a fuzzy gray head popped up. I opened the window and shouted. A squirrel crawled out of the top opening and dashed up the wall. I called my husband. As we watched, the squirrel returned, climbing down the side of the wall like he had suction cups on his feet. He squeezed himself back inside.
I banged on the window and the squirrel’s head popped up again as if to say, “What?” I opened the window wider. That made him jump. He scurried back up the wall the way he’d come. He wasn’t real brave. But closing the feeder and righting it would not stop the little rascal from returning.
I’d given the bird feeder as a Father’s Day gift last June. The packaging boasted that it was squirrel proof. For all intents and purposes it was. A handy drop bar on the front closed off the seed tray if a heavier animal tried to dine. The flaw was in the top where a cupola opened to allow refilling. Though it snapped on, the squirrel had figured out its secret.
My husband found a wire clasp to bind the top door to the rest of the unit. He doubted anything could work that loose without a special tool. I watched from the window, laughing. As soon as my husband left the patio the squirrel appeared.
He slunk along the wall like the Pink Panther. (dun, da-dun, dah dun da dun da dun da dun da daaaah).
He’d take a few steps, then flatten himself to the wall. He’d wait, look around, then slink again. When he couldn’t pry the top off, he retreated to the wall, looking confused. He remained there, still as a statue, waiting for another opportunity to try his luck.
Three days later, he still waits. His luck has run out!