zThe same week from hell that was my birthday found us looking skyward searching the roofline to source out the noise we kept hearing. It was a loud clattering and hard to ignore. So when I saw the little heads peeking out of the aluminum soffit hole, I knew we were in trouble. And when I saw the shreds of wood falling onto my porch, I was even more aggravated. Not only was the Fokker family nesting in my eaves, they were shredding my house.

My son and I looked up the definition of rodent one day out of curiosity. It simply said “those that gnaw”. Those cute scurrying furry tree critters had sussed my house for their home and when they felt too lazy to go out and gather leaves for bedding, they started chewing on the trim work I can’t see up under the sided soffit. Every time I went outside, I heard their clatter and looked up yelling, “I hear you up there.”

See, my neighbors had experienced run-ins with the neighborhood squirrel gangs. They’d endured nesting and scampering under their roof. Mary had been scared when a baby squirrel hissed at her. And when they opened up the roof, they found these rodents had chewed down and compromised the roof joists. Not good. And out the other window, I watch these critters crawl through the slats on the bell tower of the church next door. My arrogance had me thinking it wasn’t going to happen to me. They showed me.

I called my carpenter and resident huntsman, Mr. Neil, to ask if he could seal up the holes. This is what he said, sort of, ‘cause he’s a country man and I’m a city girl so I’ll translate. You’ve got to get rid of the Fokkers first. They’ve decided that your casa is their casa. And you’ll not dissuade them. He said he had a trap to tie an ear of corn inside of and set up on my roof. Had he known I’d be climbing out onto my roof, he may have come over and done it for me. And then I could take them to the State Park close by and let them go.

So we wire tied corn I had paid eight dollars for at a local supply store and began. And one by one, I caught the three Fokkers and a friend, and drove them to the Park. I chose camping pad eleven in loop A because it had a lot of woods behind it. And I kindly left an ear of corn for camping supplies for them while they got there bearings. Then I called Mr. Neil back up and he and his man Greg returned and patched up my soffit holes. I nervously listened for any signs that we’d entombed anyone. Nothing. I appreciated the silence.

We rode bikes around the camping loop yesterday and hollered a greeting to the family as we went by. Hope the country squirrels didn’t give you too much of a beat down for being city squirrels. They’ll be safer there if they survive the gang wars. Driving yesterday, I passed a just run over squirrel convulsing on the road and just felt horrible. This time of the year it’s tough not to notice the deer and squirrel bodies littering the roadways. And then I remember, starvation due to overpopulation is pretty sucky too. If the Fokkers are the fittest then they’ll survive in a new home in the woods with a steady supply of campers to feed them Cheetos.

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