January 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Squirrel Appreciation Day. Whoever came up with this boneheaded idea is obviously not a gardener.
Sure, it’s easy to be taken in by the twitchy nose and bushy tail, by their cute little habit of sitting on their hind legs to nibble something held between their paws. I’ll even grant they have a part to play in the ecosystem. But have no doubt, they are evil.
Exhibit A. I used to have a blue ceramic bird feeder in my back garden. It was vaguely dome-shaped, with a platform for the seed. I couldn’t figure out why I had to keep refilling it so often—until the day I looked out the window to see a squirrel had stuffed his entire body into it, the better to enjoy the homeowner-provider party mix.
And now I do not feed birds anymore. The birds say, “Thanks a lot, rat-boy.”
Exhibit B: The year my apple tree bore its first, tiny crop, I watched closely for the right time to harvest and savor the three years of work I had done. But I couldn’t. Because squirrels ate Every. Freaking. One.
As if that weren’t bad enough, one of the tree rats took a single bite of one of my precious apples and left it on my door step. It was the rodent equivalent of putting a horse’s head in my bed.
Exhibit C: The Spotts Garden Crew and I were working in a client garden in early spring last year.
One of the guys asked me, “Do you have any peanut butter crackers?”
Figuring he was hungry, I said, “Sure, they’re in my bag. Do you want some?”
“No, but I just saw a squirrel run up the tree carrying them.”
That rodent bastard crawled into my purse, fished out an open pack of crackers, and carried them up a tree. He then lept from tree to tree, just so that he could sit in the tree directly above my head eating my crackers. As the final insult, he dropped the wrapper on my head.
Squirrels are evil.