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Death from Above

If you should see in the news that I’ve fallen from a roof and been crushed under 100 pounds of dog hair and drool, just take comfort in knowing I went out fulfilling a dream.

I’m a little tired of the squirrel.

I don’t hate all squirrels - that would be the act of a prejudiced person. I try not to dislike any specific group, just individuals whose actions I find reprehensible.

Except elitist rich people. My dislike of them is my own personal cross to bear. In my defense, I think they could try harder not to be so unlikeable.

Back to squirrels. I do admire their work ethic. In the rodent family, they come in second only to beavers for their work ethic. It always makes me smile to see squirrels lurching across a road, carrying an ear of corn bigger than they are, especially if it’s not my corn. And if I didn’t have squirrels to clean up the black walnuts in my yard, everyone within fifty yards would end up with bloody shins from walnut debris flung by the mower blades.

I hope I’ve established that I don’t have an issue with squirrels as a species and only certain individuals get on my nerves. For instance, I have one window in my office, and from that window I can see one thing – a black walnut tree. Mr. Fluffy Tail the Annoying Squirrel likes to hang on the trunk upside down and flick that tail up and down.

It drives my wife’s little dog nuts.

She’s barely bigger than a squirrel, with a gnarly little tail. That’s why I think the bushy tail flips drive her crazy – she just can’t compete. When she goes out of her mind with a shrill, “woofwoofwoofwoofwoof,” it’s irritating, but I just get up and let her out. It’s a little like being in an earthquake - you have to ride it out.

What’s worse is when she stands on the windowsill, getting tiny-dog slobber all over the glass and just lets out a “WHOOF” every thirty seconds or so. It reminds me of having a sore tooth that doesn’t hurt all the time, so when you go for a while without a twinge you think you’ve been cured, but then, nope, there it comes again.

The squirrel isn’t stupid. He knows the dog can’t climb trees, and he knows how far down the trunk he can go to be out of reach and safely taunt, before scampering to the top of the tree.

We have a walkway from the house to the garage, which runs directly next to the taunting tree. I’ve been thinking about putting a ladder on the back side of the garage, carrying the giant Newfoundland up on the roof, then sneaking her down to the walkway next to the walnut tree. As I see it, the squirrel would be flaunting its bushy tail, the little dog would attack, and the squirrel would scamper up the tree RIGHT INTO THE JAWS AND THREE-INCH-LONG TEETH OF A GIANT, SLOBBERING, VENGEFUL NEWFOUNDLAND!

Wouldn’t that be great?

There are a couple of problems. First, the dog weighs 100 pounds and she’s scared of heights.

Second, she’s very…relaxed. I’ve seen her sleep with a kitten resting between her ears, and in four years, I’ve never heard her growl, even when skunks and raccoons are lined up to eat her dog food. Carrying out a “Death from Above” attack might be kind of a reach for her.

Still, a man can dream.

Copyright 2019 Brent Olson

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