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The Squirrel




The opportunist thrill seeker ......


As part of the ongoing human endeavour to control the environment and tame nature, I am often in conflict with the squirrels in my neighbourhood.  
The third floor flat I inhabit has a small balcony, big enough for a window box and a set of railings to stop me falling out when I tend to it.  Beside the balcony is a rope of cables from the ground to the roof,  carrying TV, phone and other non-essential services to each flat.  Squirrels use this cable rope as a highway to visit the balconies.  

I try to avert the squirrels from visiting thus.  I keep a saucepan of water near the balcony door and, on seeing a squirrel in the box, open the door and throw half the water in the direction of the squirrel.
Usually the squirrel scarpers on hearing the door open and runs to the rope and down it, sometimes in wet condition.  I pour the other half of the water after it down the rope, in pursuit and discouragement.

I use this non lethal method in anticipation that a soggy squirrel will not wish to repeat the experience and will mention it to others at the nut club.  It also means no bloody mess to clear up.

Yesterday, I was seated at my breakfast and noticed an upright bushy tail pressed hard against the glass of the balcony door.  A squirrel with its head and hands deep into the soil of the window box.  I reached for my saucepan.

It didn’t notice the sound of the door opening and was startled just before the water landed on it.  It bolted through the railings and then leapt out into the void.  This is from three floors up, a good thirty  feet from the ground. 
 It spreadeagled in its trajectory but flying squirrels are not indigenous to the UK and it went down at the speed of gravity.  It landed on all fours on the grass of the communal garden and gave a shake to throw off water.  I was amazed it wasn’t flattened.  Then it leapt three bounds, another shake, and it sat stock still for about 5 mins.  
After which it began mooching about in the grass and doing the usual squirrel stuff.

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