By Joyce A. Reed
Meet Evil, my pseudo pet! Evil is a baby squirrel who has taken up residence in our backyard since last year. Evil used to have 3 siblings who also roamed the trees in our yard. I named them Tiny, Curly and Mo, but due to Evil’s serious
“personality disorder”, they no longer reside on our property.
Why? Because Evil unmercifully chased, harassed, or wrestled with them in the grass on so many occasions, I figured they couldn’t take it anymore. And in spite of the free food and water I was giving them, they moved on to safer and more peaceful habitats.
I love Evil in spite of his need for extensive psychiatric intervention or, at minimum, behavior modification training. You see, Evil suffers from little man, or. in his case, little animal syndrome. Doesn’t matter what size animal comes into our yard, he believes he can tackle them all--deer, rabbit, adult squirrels 50 times his size, birds or chipmunks. All fall prey to his “evil” ways. Any violation of his territory results in swift punishment being given out without a moment of hesitation. His reign of terror knows no limit and his antics keep me entertained for hours. I have honestly considered posting a “Beware of Squirrel!” sign for the sake of other critters, but I don’t speak rabbit, dear, or even squirrel, so writing a sign would be difficult.
Although I’d like to have a pet like so many others--one you could hold, pet, take for walks--Evil would never go for it.
However, I love the way he comes running from who knows where whenever I get out the can of nuts and shake it, alerting him that it is meal time. He never fails to appear. He will not approach me, but sits on the lower branch of one our spruce trees, waiting for me to throw the nuts towards him. Only after I have turned to walk away will he drop down, pick up a nut and then scamper back up a branch to nibble on it. He moves the nut back and forth in his mouth, as if he is eating corn on the cob. Once finished, he then dutifully cleans his paws before going back down to get another nut. He is meticulous to a fault when it comes to cleanliness. Evil also likes little pieces of bread, but downright refuses to eat any of the crust. He nibbles the center, then throws the crust to the ground. Reminds me of one of my children when they were younger and I had to cut the crust off the slice of bread before they would eat it. No, I am not going to start cutting the crust off his bread too!
I worry about Evil though since his territorial behavior has limited the potential of him finding a love life. What “lady” would want a bully for a mate, not to mention one that would be chasing you around the yard and trees all day long? I guess he will have to be content with his solitary life for now. Who knows? Maybe one day Miss Right will come along and my little rascal friend will mend his “evil” ways!
Story by Joyce A. Reed, who resides in Ohio and has her own backyard animal kingdom.