“You want to get this thing? Why?”
“It’s a squirrel feeder. It is SO ME!”
“Seriously? You don’t think it’s ridiculous?”
Sometimes my husband doesn’t get me at all. Yes, he found the photos I showed him funny, but that’s where it stopped for him. Cute idea, good for a chuckle, now let’s move along. I, conversely, get giddy like a 6 year old walking into Build-A-Bear for the first time when I see amazing stuff. When we were first married, I would become infatuated with something, then campaign enthusiastically about how it would enrich our lives until he came around to my point of view. 15 years later, I pretty much just ignore his protests and do what I want.
It started innocently enough, with this adorable little squirrel feeder.
If you want to feed squirrels dried corn cobs, why in the world wouldn’t you want to see them eating from this chair? It’s hysterical! It’s a conversation piece! It makes me giggle! I mean, COME ON! How does anyone not see that?!?
It also requires climbing 15 feet up a ladder to refill the corn cobs, which are then emptied in about 2 hours. Hysterical, but not practical.
Then I came across the Holy Grail of squirrel feeders which led to the exchange above.
How could he not see the value of this? I wanted to buy these in bulk, and create a herd of squirrels with horse heads. You can see that, right? It would be a laugh a minute! I could put up a squirrel cam and amuse people all over the globe! The 2015 Squirrels With Horse Heads Calendar was a no-brainer. How much better could life get?
I decided to start slow before building the squirrel herd, and ordered only one. I resisted the expedited shipping so as not to appear crazed. In 3 days I really regretted that decision. Apparently the options were “Overnight” or “Carrier Pigeon”. I thought it would NEVER get here! When it finally arrived, it surpassed all my expectations. This was the best money I’d ever spent.
I chose a spot that I could view from several key locations on the main floor, then immediately moved my home office to the dining room so that I wouldn’t miss a single nibble from the squirrels. It didn’t take long for them to figure out. It was kind of the best day of my life.
My husband shook his head. Alot. You’d never know that he’s the young vibrant one in this relationship. I get absolutely zero, zilch, nada acknowledgement for bringing this kind of joy into our lives.
The squirrels really took to the feeder. With gusto. Even one of our historically small regulars, Stimpy (so named because he has only a nubbin of a tail) was getting a bit filled out. I found myself filling up the muzzle of regal steed a couple of times a day. No problem, as I always have plenty of chow for squirrels and birds and dogs and, apparently, possums (but that’s another story).
Alas, the real world occasionally interrupts my idyllic life in the Ozarks, and I’m required to fly off to big cities with 12-lane highways and 40 story buildings, all while disguising myself as a business professional. After a couple of weeks of my dining room table observation deck, duty called, and I obediently flew off to the world of high rises and fancy restaurants. Four days later, I returned and immediately went to check on my little tree rats. I’d barely taken a step onto the porch when I saw it. It took a minute to register, but once I realized what I was seeing, I went on the hunt for my husband.
“WHAT DID YOU DO?!?” He doesn’t react when I raise my voice, which makes me crazy. Aren’t men supposed to be afraid of angry women? He missed that memo.
“Huh?” Then the light switch went on. “Oh, yeah, the horse head. I guess I didn’t refill it enough. They started chewing it up. Sorry.”
Sorry?!? My horse head had been disfigured, and he was SORRY?!?
I re-doubled my efforts. Peanuts, cereal, seeds, fruits….it was a gourmet horse head. Stimpy got fatter, as did the rest of the dray.
What? You don’t know what a “dray” is? It’s a group of squirrels, silly.
I set up shop again, this time outdoors on the patio table. If I left the dogs inside and gave them their space, they continued dining from the equine, and I continued being thoroughly amused. My husband continued to roll his eyes. I began making a design blueprint of where other horse head feeders would be positioned. We had a shot at a cover story in National Geographic….or Redneck Quarterly.
As my next trip approached, I began to plan. I was stuffing bread wrappers with squirrel food to make it easier for hubby to keep up. I gave my grandson, a weekly visitor, pep talks on the fun and frolic of filling the squirrel feeder. And I talked to Stimpy. I showed him the blueprint and told him to run like the wind and tell all his little tree rodent friends about Squirreltopia. I headed to the airport without a care in the world.
Twelve long days later, I came home to find a massacre. Pieces of plastic horse flesh were strewn across the deck. It was vile. Why had they turned on me? I’d only taken care of them. Fed them. Photographed them. Laughed at them, sure, but not in a mean way. I tried to make us one big, happy, scurry. (Yes, that’s another actual word. What do you think I am, an amateur?)
I picked up the pieces of my dream of Squirreltopia, literally and figuratively, and threw them in the garbage. Ungrateful monsters. I will never again try to make a cozy, pleasant life for little woodland critters.
It’s a good thing the magazine I read on the plane had an article about attracting toads to your yard. Do you know you can put HOUSES out for toads? This is going to be SO GREAT!!!