Because its Wild Effing Kingdom in my backyard!
So, on Saturday I’m in the kitchen and Mandy is in the living room, and she literally starts freaking out and hollering at me “SHANE, LOOK OUTSIDE, QUICK!”
I did something like a ninja flip over the kitchen counter into the living room (or maybe waddled my fat arse around it, my recollection is hazy) and looked outside to see a monstrous red tailed hawk sitting on top of a hapless squirrel in my backyard. I was ecstatic because those psychopathic tree rats are on a mission to re-inhabit my eaves after I evicted them last year, and losing one is a blow to the squirrel army. Apparently Mandy got to see the hawk drop out of the sky like a feathered ninja right on top of the arboreal rodent bast*rd. I’m immensely jealous.
But the fun was only getting started, as the hawk is being dive bombed by two crows and a mockingbird. While the hawk is being distracted, the squirrel, perhaps being part cat and possessing more than the requisite number of lives, suddenly gets up and bolts from the hawk. I was pretty sure I could hear the squirrel muttering “serpentine! serpentine!” as it zigged and zagged away from the hawk, who gracefully took to the sky. I was super pizzed that the crows and the mockingbird cost the hawk its lunch and refunded me a squirrel.
Later we saw two hawks, one of which was presumably the squirrel hunter, sitting in our backyard. One was chilling out on top of one of our pecan trees, and one was sitting on top of Eric’s playset. They were effing awesome, just awesome.
But it was a bad weekend in the world of squirrels. I let the dogs out Sunday morning, and there was a squirrel on our covered back porch. Perhaps hiding from the hawks. A frying pan/fire type decision for him in hindsight, I’m sure. Anyway, Anubis and Shay chase the little critter around the back porch knocking over toys and crap, eventually “treeing” him. The squirrel ends up stuck to the brick wall behind my barbecue grill on the porch. He’s squeezed into a tiny amount of space and out of reach of the dogs. Believing the fun is over and not wanting the dogs barking to wake the rest of the fam, I drag both dogs inside and give the squirrel half an hour to vacate the danger zone. I then finally succumb to Anubis’ constant whining to go outside again, and let him out thinking “30 minutes is plenty of time for the squirrel to have moved on”.
Well, I was wrong. Obviously the squirrel decided that he liked being squished up behind the grill, or was having some sort of squirrel mental breakdown and retreating to his happy place inside of his head, because he was still there. Which brings me to the weirdest part of the whole story.
Those of you who have met my dog Anubis know that he is the most patchwork dog ever. He’s got a big pit bull looking head and barrel chest, but is on a set of legs that are long and skinny, and his haunches are really narrow. Combine that with the long, white tipped tail, and he looks like he’s got some sort of fox hound / pointer thing going on. But his feet are too small, he’s ears are too small for his head, and he’s got too few teeth for his huge mouth. Oh yeah, and he’s got blue merle markings like a blue heeler. In short, he comes from a long line of traveling men of various and sundry heritage.
Anubis does have some sort of pointer in him, because his DNA suddenly takes over and from that hodge podge of instincts emerges the heart of a hunter. That big lug of a dog goes out the the barbecue grill, stretches his head out, picks up his front right paw, leans forward, and holds his tail straight back up in the air. That goofy looking mutt went into a full point, just like in those British paintings. At a squirrel. Behind a grill. And held it for a few minutes while I laughed. I should have thought to grab a camera, but alas it was too early and I was too fascinated.
Anubis eventually realized that I was not going to do something to help him, so he wormed his muzzle up from under the grill to about 4 inches away from the squirrel and began barking at him. The squirrel then shot over the top of the grill like he had pulled some sort of ejection lever and bolted into the yard. Anubis and Shay were in hot pursuit, and Shay d*mn near caught the fuzzy facist before he managed to make it over the back fence.
I have not seen a squirrel since then. I’ve debated getting a squirrel feeder so I can attract more hawk bait.
[In the interest of full disclosure, this is an email I sent to some friends a few months back. I am posting it here because:
- I believe its some of my finest writing to date.
- I’m still playing with this WordPress thing.