Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Pumpkin Massacre
Jennifer Flaten

One morning, as I typed weary over another article so cheery, I heard a rapping, a rapping at my door. Actually, the doorbell rang, which didn’t surprise me, but it really caught the dog off guard, she nearly toppled off the couch in surprise. Obviously, we didn’t buy her for home defense.

Since we are new in town, every contractor, from windows to trees, stopped by to offer their services, along with every church in a 10-mile radius; oh, yeah, and those damnable boy scouts, with their tasty, expensive popcorn, but no cupcakes.

I got up to answer the door, figuring if it wasn’t yet another peddler it was probably a pollster looking for my opinion; boy, wouldn’t he be surprised when I gave him mine. I raced the dog to the door, she beat me by a nose and together we pulled the door open to discover nothing. I looked at the dog, the dog looked at me, we both were positive the doorbell rang, but there was no one at the door.

Then I noticed the squirrel hanging from the tree by the front porch. That little rodent ding, dong, ditched me! Probably in retaliation, for cutting off his supply of Indian corn.

A few weeks ago, after reading one too many “Better Homes and Gardens” magazines, I bought several bunches of Indian corn along with a nice assortment of pumpkins to make the outside of the house look festive or so I thought. What I was actually doing was laying out an all you can eat buffet for the neighbourhood squirrels.

I spent considerable time arranging the pumpkins and hanging the Indian corn. Every so often I have spells of decoratoritis, don‘t worry it‘s not contagious. So, I was not happy, not happy at all, when the pumpkins started disappearing from the display.

One by one, I found the gnawed remains of the pumpkins scattered throughout my yard. Under the tree, what, at one time, was a lovely green gourd, now nothing but a pile of seeds. Over by the garage, the seeds and innards from the cutest little baby pumpkin.

It was a pumpkin massacre.

The kids found nightmare on pumpkin street amusing, until the squirrel targeted their pumpkins. The pumpkins they bought with their own money. Suddenly, Mr. Squirrel was public enemy number one.

With the pumpkin buffet exhausted, I figured the squirrel would leave. Nope. One afternoon I stepped to check the mail and found myself staring directly into the beady little eye of a squirrel. He or she was hanging upside down from the Indian corn, enjoying a late afternoon snack.

This squirrel made Spiderman look like an amateur. After shimmying up the aluminum siding, the squirrel grabbed onto the Indian corn and hung on for dear life. Of course, the squirrel’s weight caused the corn to twirl around and smack the squirrel against the side of the house every few minutes. 

That certainly explained the thumping I heard earlier. I had to hand it to the little guy, getting thunked against the house like a bell clapper didn’t stop him from stripping all the kernels from the cob. He reluctantly left, but he came back later and ripped the cobs right off the husk, leaving me with nothing but a few dried husks and muddy paw prints as outdoor decorations.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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