Monday, July 12, 2010
My mother is 79. She has been living alone since my father passed away 3 years ago, is active, intelligent, and has all her faculties. But she is "squirrelly".
Ma lives in a small house on about a quarter acre lot in the middle of an older neighborhood. Yet, she has probably a dozen squirrels that live in the trees on that lot. They are driving her nuts. For some strange reason, this year the bushy tails have pulled up most of her flowers. They have dug up her petunias, her impatiens, her geraniums and any other posies that have been unfortunate enough to grow there. It's a real mystery. She has always been kind to the squirrels, even feeding them in winter. She has always enjoyed watching them scamper about and swears they occasionally eat magic mushrooms that make them spin and twirl and act crazy......someone has been in the magic mushrooms, I'm just not sure who....
The other night when the farmer and I were at her house, Ma announced that she had had enough. She had tried red pepper flakes in the dirt, hot pepper spray, moth balls, a water hose, wire around the pots and on and on and on. Nothing works. She plants the plants, the squirrels dig them up and throw them on the ground (they don't eat them), she re-plants them, they dig them up again and throw them on the ground, she throws sticks and them, they laugh at the crazy gray-haired woman throwing sticks, and then the whole thing starts over again....and again....and again. Everyday I call and there is a new story....The other day she called the Game Warden. I would like to have heard that conversation. Not surprisingly, they had nothing to offer...can you imagine the conversation around the office after THAT call?
Ma declared she was going to Green Top and buy a gun....a BB gun. "What" I stammered "are you going to do with it, sit on the patio and take out bushy tails in front of the neighbors?"
"I don't really want to kill them, just scare them." she replied in a very very calm voice. The farmer, previously stupefied by this strange conversation, came to and said that BB guns made no noise. "Well," said my little mother, "I will shoot over their heads and frighten them." Let me stop here and say my mother has never held a gun in her life, so the chance that she could even fire a BB gun is slim, but to think that she might be able to aim and shoot OVER a running squirrel and scare it, is unthinkable. But, she had a strange gleam in her eye that told me she was determined. I looked over at the farmer for assistance, and ever helpful, he suggested.......a sling shot might be a better weapon choice. Not what I had in mind. At this, Ma fairly jumped out of her seat and declared it was a perfect idea and she would make the purchase tomorrow.
I emailed my brother who is vacationing and told him not to be surprised if he returns to find our mother in a nice quiet rest home.....if the squirrels don't get her, the police probably will.