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My nephew made a beautiful little bird feeder for my dad a few weeks ago.

It is made of cedar and it smells as good as it looks—or at least, how it used to look. My dad kind of altered its design to keep the Squirrels away; hence the story…SQUIRREL WARS.

Dad, tickled with the sturdiness of the design and the beauty of the wood, promptly sets about mounting the Feeder to a nice cedar post and places it in the ground outside of the large picture window. He works fast in his excitement to watch the various species of birds that will surely fly in for a tasty treat. He is an early riser, so the thought of watching the birds eat their breakfast while he is eating his really pleases him. However, the pleasant dreams of future Bird watching and the unpleasant reality of rodents of unusually-large-tail-poof-age soon have a head on collision.
The problem is that not only is dad pleased with the feeder, the squirrels start congregating to admire its workmanship too. By the droves. The whole community of Franklin County squirrels come out to admire and partake of the free smorgasbord. From the tree tops they come; dropping in, climbing in, and swinging in from low hanging branches. The floodgates of squirrels are opened…wide! Dad goes haywire!

Ever the economist, dad cannot stomach the idea of buying bag after bag of birdseed only to fill the greedy little rodent’s gluttonous bellies. The war begins. The cedar pole is the first thing to go. It makes it too easy for the squirrels to climb up and get to the food. So dad gets busy covering the entire lovely wooden—blend into the environment—pole, in hideous blazing white—stick out like a blazing white sore thumb—plastic. Eyesore city!

However, this only slightly slows the rodents down, and I’m pretty sure, makes them even more determined. So dad, doing what any other determined male would do, adds more obstacles to the Bird Feeder; razor-wire-like objects are inserted at various places all around the bottom of the post, followed by pointed darts and other deadly sharp objects higher up—just in case the squirrels make it past the wire.

Un-stoppable, the adventurous furry creatures are forced to explore other routs of entry. Thinking they have the upper hand, they abandon the pole and start dropping in from nearby trees…by the dozens…more squirrels now than before…not only Franklin County but all surrounding counties as well. Dad is not amused!

Thinking to cut them off at the pass, dad starts removing all low reaching branches from all nearby trees. One by one the branches come down. One by one, mom’s beautiful trees are stripped naked to their belly buttons. The view from the picture window now is unsightly and slightly scandalous. All beauty has fled.

Score: Dad 3. Squirrels 2.

The squirrels come back with an upper-cut, they learn to run real hard, jump off the tree tops, and tuck and roll as they hit the landing strip like true soldiers of war. And, if I am not mistaken, I believe I may have even seen several tiny parachutes strapped onto tiny fuzzy backs. I can’t be certain of this—my eyes may have been playing tricks—but it looked like it to me.

Dad fights back and stands strong—like a Stone Wall. Captain Stone Wall Daddy removes even more branches. He starts up the chain saw, but mom hears the roar of the angry motor and shuts them both down.

The squirrels jump even further and drop from even higher heights.

Dad gets the gun.

Soon the bird feeder is filled with bird seed and pellet shot.

The squirrels are onto his tactics and are not giving up. They now associate the sound of the front door opening with the sound of a gun blazing away at them. So they outsmart him by feasting earlier in the morning, before he gets up. The feeder is empty of its contents long before dawn paints the horizon.

So Stone Wall, determined to end this thing, goes to bed earlier than usual. He sets his alarm for REALLY EARLY, oils the front door hinges for sound-free opening and cleans the gun. He is ready. He will not surrender! He will not go down without a solid victory! He sleeps the sleep of the prepared and ready for more battles.

Mom however, has had enough. She shuts off his alarm. She hides the gun. She puts bells on the door knob. She is through with this war. It ends NOW!

All she wanted was a beautiful picture window view of a lovely little bird feeder nestled in between the hovering trees, surrounded by blooming tulips and roses. All she wanted was to sit and watch hummingbirds sip nectar from her flowers, to watch bumble bees bump into each other in their nectar drunk dances, and to watch birds frolic and feast. Instead she sees this monstrosity of war.

If you look closely—past the plastic, past the razor-wire, and past the hideous poisoned spikes you can see a lovely little bird feeder. But, as it is, no birds dare to enter. No humming birds are brave enough to tempt their fate. No bumble bees venture into the no-fly-war-zone. No flowers have survived the continuous tromping about to cut limbs from trees, and continuous pellets blasted from the gun. It once was a lovely little garden, but war has left its scars.
Maybe next year my nephew can make dad something a little less violent….maybe a wind-chime.


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