Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Squirrely Valentine

Last night a little after 7 p.m. the phone rang. It was my grandkiddos’ other grandmother, who lives close by.

From her voice I knew something was wrong.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said.

“What happened?” I asked, thinking something happened to her mom--the kid’s great-grandmother--who is 90, and lives in a nursing home.

“A squirrel is stuck in my fireplace.”

I breathed a sigh of relief and repeated. “A squirrel in your fireplace?”

Michael, who was sitting nearby getting out his books to do homework, perked up immediately.

She said, “I called for someone to get it out but they want almost three-hundred dollars to come tonight or one hundred if I wait till tomorrow. Do you think Michael can bring his b-b-gun and shoot it?

"Michael's b-b-gun?" I asked, thinking I didn't hear her right.

Woa! Wait a minute. That wasn’t going to happen. First, you don’t shoot a gun in the house—not even a b.b. gun, but I didn’t want to make things worse by lecturing her on gun safety.

Instead, I asked her to hold on, and I gave the phone to Walt, squirrel hunter extraordinare.

It was déjà vu all over.

Several years ago, right around Christmas time, my sister Kathleen had a squirrel stuck in her fireplace. Kathleen’s husband Jim was at work, so she called her daughter Angie then me, and it was Walt to the rescue.

My niece Angie tried to help Walt catch the squirrel, which darted from the fireplace when Walt opened the door. The squirrel sprinted between Angie's legs and hid in the Christmas tree. The squirrel jumped from branch to branch, knocking down ornaments. My sister freaked out because it was her “Irish” tree--the one with several Waterford collectible ornaments.

Long story short: Walt caught the squirrel, but the little guy gave up a fight, biting Walt all he way out the door. As blood dripped from his hand, Walt squeezed, hoping the squirrel would stop biting. But the harder he squeezed, the harder the squirrel bit down. Walt survived, although at my sister's insistence he visited the ER to make sure he didn't get rabies. A few ornaments (thankfully none of the Waterfords) and the squirrel were not as lucky. For Christmas that year, my sister gave Walt a stuffed toy squirrel. It was the hit during the gift exchange.

Back to last night. Before he left the house, Walt found a pair of leather work gloves. He didn't want to get bit this time. Michael put on his hoodie, and when Cari heard what was going on, she rushed out of her bedroom and asked them to wait for her. Michael’s b-b gun, our dog Harley, and I all stayed home.

Less than an hour later, Walt and the grandkiddos came back. They were exicted and couldn't wait to tell me what happened. Walt had caught the squirrel in a towel and released him out the front door, unharmed. And this time Walt didn't shed any blood.

Not exactly a romantic Valentine's night, but definitely a squirrely one, and the makings of a good story.


  1. LOL, oh I'm well aware of squirrel stories. Way to go Walt, I love humane endings :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. Hi Jules,
    Walt is my hero--and my grandkids' too.

  3. I saw you stopped by my blog and commented. Glad you did because that brought me happily here.

    I love the squirrel story. Certainly something to remember for Valentine's Day. Well written, too. Definitely material for a story.

    Squirrel reminds me that my youngest daughter is not fond of them. "Don't you say they're cute," she says angrily. "They eat my flowers. They're horrible." I think she's had a few in her house, too.
    Ann Best, Author @ Long Journey Home

  4. This is a hoot of a story, brought back memories from when I had a squirrel living (for a short time) in my walls--he too survived.

  5. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for your comment. I'm glad to have found your blog, and I'm glad the story reminded of your daughter's comment.

    Hi Conda,
    Thanks. I'm glad your squirrel survived.


  6. Donna,
    This was great and Walt's a hero. I loved how the excitement kept building and then pow, that little tree rat was freed. You have a way with words!

  7. Walt: The Squirrel Whisperer...

    We had a squirrel (or several) in our attic, and I just imagined they were mating, having families and furnishing their condos up there. My grandfather lived with us at the time, and we tried putting used (yuck) kitty litter up there, but finally my grandfather sat out in our yard all day, watching where they got in, and when we were sure they were all out, we nailed up a barrier.

    My grandfather had a story to tell, because while he was on "watch," the squirrels came out and were in the trees chattering (angrily?) at him. Grandpa was 91 at the time, but he was happy he outsmarted those wily rodents...

    I think Walt needs to get some business cards made up. He could offer his services for half of what Michael and Cari's other grandmother was going to pay and---from the sounds of it---for $50 a floor show is even provided!

  8. Hi Linda,
    Walt is a hero--in more ways than one.

    Hi Sioux,
    I love the story about your grandfathers. And the business cards might be a good idea, especially if our taxes keep going up.


  9. I'd say the little guys have earned their worth in funny stories, at least. But oh, my, you have me worried about squirrel infestations! I didn't know they were so common! :-o

  10. Nothing like a good squirrel story to heat up Valentine's Day! Last year I posted about a squirrel with whom my husband had an ongoing battle for control of the bird feeder. He was so crafty (the squirrel, not my husband) that I named him Albert Einsquirrel. :)

  11. Is this the week for squirrels? I just had a friend tell the story of a squirrel in the house they are moving to. It had done some heavy biting, getting through a barrier the owner had built. They are cute from afar. Glad Walt was able to give grandmom some peace.

  12. Donna, this story is so funny, it could be Flash Fiction!! The squirrel in the Xmas tree gave me visions of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! LOL
    We've had birds fall down our chimney, but never had squirrels, except in our attic.
    Loved this! Great story telling!

  13. Hi Tammy,
    The winter warm-up must be what's got the squirrels moving.

    Hi Barb,
    I agree about squirrels being cute--from afar.

    Hi Becky,
    Thanks. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.



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