Amused Authors

Urban Fantasy by Kathleen
April 23, 2009, 1:38 pm
Filed under: funny, life | Tags: , ,

It’s spring in the heart of Denver. Yes, that often means snow, but a more frequent hazard is wildlife. You heard right. Wildlife. In spring, the squirrels around my house are pretty wild!

Worse than that, they’re armed. They love pine nuts, and they enjoy sitting in the big pine tree outside my parking space and systematically destroying a pinecone to get at the nuts. The big fat one from next door will sit on a branch, turn the cone around, strip off a piece, eat the nut, drop the remainder, turn it again, as businesslike as a child eating corn.

But if you’re foolish enough to walk by during this process, the squirrel, angered by the fact that you dare to exist, will begin scolding and jerking his tail, and will strafe you with pieces of deconstructed pinecones. There’s nothing like walking hurriedly along to the car, ducking your head as you are called horrible names in Squirrel and being pelted with pinecone bits.

This spring, we have a new addition to urban hazards. Woodpeckers are eating my house! These are big, fluffy birds the size of robins, with stripes and spots on their tails and red under their wings, not the redheaded kind made famous in cartoons. They don’t drill, either, they knock. Sounds EXACTLY like they want to get in.

Now, at 5:30 a.m. that’s bad enough. But I went outside the other day to discover that they were making holes in the side of the house! Now, one expects holes from termites, but not from woodpeckers! Perhaps they’re trying to dig FOR termites, who knows. Taking a hint from the squirrels, I heaved a pinecone at them, and they flew away.

But they’ll be back.

Now, I can’t very well sit up from 4 a.m. on, shivering and breathing frost, with a pinecone in my hand, standing vigil outside. Nor can I allow my house to become a woodpecker drive-thru. So here’s my urban fantasy: can I learn to speak Squirrel? Perhaps if I bribe the fluffy-tailed, big-eyed terrorists with some Cheetos, they could throw pinecones at the woodpeckers instead?

They have damn good aim.


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