where the writers are
Pumpkin Carving Squirrel Style
Pumpkin with issues.JPG

In the past, I've defended squirrels, especially from my friend Julie.  When we walk at the Berkeley Marina, she stops, holds my arm, and makes a terrible snickering noise when she sees a squirrel.  Sometimes, she says things like, "Rats with fluffy tails."

Other times, she goes on about the fact that they are where they shouldn't be.  "Environmental issues," she says.  "People shouldn't feed them here."

At that time, I was mostly a squirrel loving person, though when I lived in Orinda, I learned to put my tomato plant on the south facing deck (they had to be on the decks only because we also had deer) because the squirrels didn't like that deck.  It was too often traveled by human and cat alike to be safe, so the tomatoes thrived.

When I moved to Montclair, I realized that all these years, Julie was right.  Squirrels are devil spawn.  They are little shits, actually, and I've done my best to protect my vegetables and birdseed.  First, Michael and I bought the bird feeder that hangs over the deck, the bird feeder with the "hat" that keeps the squirrels off.  It's worked, amazingly, though the squirrels do like to give it a go--walking out to the end of the pole, holding on for dear life while trying to figure out how to fling their tiny bodies onto the bird seed.

After trying for a few weeks, the rumor of the dwindling birdseed feed post was spread, and they stopped coming around.  For a while, I would see a squirrel flopped on its belly, watching the bird feeder, blinking its dark eyes.  And then, I was free of squirrels and squirrel residue!  Oh frabjous day!

Then the tomatoes ripened.  I knew something was terribly wrong when I found mountains of tomato skins at the end of the deck.  And finally, one evening while I was watching my Tivo'd Californiacation, I saw him.  Or her.  Sneaking up and lifting up on hind legs to grab! Yes! My prize green tomato.  But it was too late.  I rushed out of the house with my spray water bottle, shooting away, but the squirrel and tomato were gone.

So--it was October after all--I decided that the tomato plants had to go.  The vines were dying, so I just pulled  off the fruit (my mother loves fried green tomatoes) and dumped the plants.  Fine.  There.  You win, you little monsters.

All was well at the homestead until we noticed there was a pumpkin carving contest going on outside the front door.  But it wasn't by the local kindergärtners.  It was squirrel spawn, carving an eye here, an eye there.  We took the two pumpkins that had survived the blitz and put them on the hearth inside.  But we left the art project going, and the second eye grew.  It grew and it grew and it grew, until finally, there was a hole big enough for a squirrel to fit in.

Michael came home one day to find Mr. Pain-in-the-Ass Squirrel upside down in the pumpkin.  Upon hearing Michael, he pulled his head out and raced one way, no, the other, and then jumped into a tree cackling and flipping his tail. 

We stared at the orange seeded carnage.  But we left the pumpkin outside so we could see the end results, which I have left for you in a photo here and on my author page.

The squirrel won first prize in the contest, and if the pumpkin makes it, I will put a candle in it on Halloween!


6 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

I used to love squirrels

And I admit...they are cute.  They are soft and fuzzy with pretty tails.  They are still evil.  When I lived in Norfolk, Virginia, we used to feed them.  Then they started taking that for granted and got aggressive.  They actually made several assaults on the porch as if they would come into the house after food we were no longer offering.

Now we live in a small town near the Dismal Swamp in North Carolina.  They eat ALL of our Pecans from the tree...they throw berries and sticks at my car, and at me ... they chitter endlessly and generally tear things up...they are evil.

They even have a habit of using themselves to short transformers to ground and knocking out power...have seen that twice since moving here..

 Nice pumpkin...


Comment Bubble Tip

Thank you for all the

Thank you for all the corroboration!  Now the world knows--squirrels are evil.  We need to make t-shirts and hold rallies.

The transformer thing is the worst!  When I was growing up, they would gnaw through the telephone wires, but so far (I shouldn't even write this), no electrical issues!


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

Comment Bubble Tip

Too many

Jessica I have to do this . . the little animals aren't evil. Their are just too many of them because you don't have a predator in your neighborhood. Animals can be incredibly creative in obtaining high calorie food. When coyotes are gone, the animals about squirrel size flourish and if there is enough food for them they have lots of babies. You can do two things, one is make is so they don't have extra food, and two is encourage your neighborhood to the idea that having a few bigger wild animals around isn't a bad idea. Do you have racoons? Racoons help too but if you have too many of them then they kill off the songbirds by eating their eggs. The wild world does not stop just because of houses. . it is a harsh place but at least no wild animal that I know of kills for fun and thrills.

Comment Bubble Tip

Oh, I do know this! I

Oh, I do know this! I didn't mean to be mean but "funn)," such as it is. I agree with you on all points.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan

Comment Bubble Tip


I think that the trouble begins when you declare war to them and look at them as enemies which in fact they are not.They just play with you the way they know best.

So Cease fire ! And try a fifty-fifty winning truce for both sides.Reading your writings,I know you have the stuff to come out with an adequate solution:A winning compromize for both parties.

Comment Bubble Tip

I must have put on too thick

I must have put on too thick a layer of "war" metaphor. The squirrels are winning though, so don't worry about them. Seed and punpkin! No predators. They are fine and they are happy and well fed.
Jessica Barksdale Inclan