Monday, March 25, 2013

The Squirrel Villain


Batman had The Joker.
Superman had Lex Luthor.
And I had… The Squirrel.

In the world of comic books every great superhero had his villain. Not just any villain but a real bad guy who was his match in wits, strength and devilish plans. My life in California’s suburbs was imitating comic book art because I too had found the evil Yin to my heroic Yang and his name was… The Squirrel.


The Squirrel had thwarted me by eating apricots off my tree and decimating my internet connection with his fierce jaws. But he didn’t stop there.

In winter’s chill he scaled a palm tree and shredded the palm fronds causing them to rain down on my front walk like a biblical Egyptian plague or that weird scene in the film Magnolia with the falling frogs.

In summer’s heat he stole a massive steak tomato from my garden.

Now in spring I’d sprung a plan to be rid of The Squirrel forever. My plan had one step—it was so simple that it had to work! I removed all the fruit, vegetable and mineral elements from my front and back gardens and—as everyone knows—without food The Squirrel would move onto another garden to wreck havoc there.

Everyone on the planet knew this except Mr. Wonderful who spent Sunday outside chatting long distance to his college pal while eating walnuts. When he came across a walnut he didn’t like he tossed it on the patio where—Duh, duh—The Squirrel appeared, ate it and laughed.

“Squirrels can’t laugh,” Mr. Wonderful said.
“You don’t know The Squirrel,” I said chasing it out of our garden. “Now that you’re feeding it I’ll never conquer my villain.”
“Excuse me?” he said but I didn’t have time to explain.

This morning before breakfast I saw that The Squirrel was back. Seated in the same area of the patio waiting for a walnut handout from Mr. Wonderful. Typical. But I wasn’t the only one who saw the rodent. Jackson crept across the kitchen then slipping through the open sliding glass door he met The Squirrel head on. The Squirrel freaked! I saw the panic in his beady eyes! Jackson chased it to the property line and watched it race up the camellia tree and collapse on the fence

Have you ever seen a Squirrel have a heart attack? Today I did. And it was beautiful.

For 30 minutes Jackson crouched at the base of the camellia tree keeping watch. Once The Squirrel recovered from his massive coronary failure he crawled onto the roof and scampered away, all the while Jackson watched every step.

Jackson, my Jackson! How proud I was of him! Fighting The Squirrel was a fulltime job but finally I had help. Jackson the Cat was now my sidekick—my Robin, my Lois Lane, my hero.