6/27/08

Gray Pey

I've a hilarious neighbor named Gary. He's my contractor, a block captain, and one of the most fascinating creatures I've ever met. I've been begging him to start a blog but he's a busy man.

We were discussing our mutual squirrel problems on the neighborhood listserv and since Gary (or Gray, as my typo named him) won't blog...

While we're talking about squirrels...


Squirrels have also chewed through the new screen door I had installed in my tenants apartment upstairs, helped themselves to a loaf of bread (while Tammy and Maureen watched TV in another room) and left through
the hole.

I'm left having to do a huge repair. Bastards.

Same thing happen to Gray Pey. He worked a deal with his squirrel and
now feeds him to prevent entry.

Christian

"Gray" Pey here. Here's what happened chez moi. Our neighbor kids found a baby squirrel about 3 inches long (not including tail) our family kind of took it away from these kids (they meant well, but weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer). We raised it on cat milk that some cat guy up near MGF had, I really didn't want to know how he got it, but it was in those cute little baby doll milk bottles, and it seemed to agree with "Squirrel Nutkin". He got bigger, used to ride around on our shoulders, and make these cute purring sounds. Then he started using me like a tree, going round and round and up and down. I'm really ticklish when it comes to squirrels racing around on me, so he was about 6 inches long (body only) and I decided "he" was ready for life out in the wild South Side (I never did lift up his tail to find out if he really was a he).
He was always at the back door looking for peanuts, which we would give him right from our hands. One creepy thing was that he had this habit of jumping down on your back from the tree in the backyard right at dusk, wanting one last peanut. It always felt like some ghostly hand with long fingernails suddenly grabbed you, and I always expected to turn around and see that hooded guy with the scythe.
Eventually he made friends with other squirrels (about three of them). He taught them about the free handouts at the back door. Pretty soon they were there all time and didn't eat the peanuts as much as they would run off and bury them. Eventually the novelty wore off and I felt it was time to wean these freeloaders so we quit feeding them. Imagine my wife's surprise to come home into the kitchen to find Squirrel Nutkin and his buddies going through our cabinets. He had made about a perfect two inch hole in the window screen. The rest of the summer we had to keep the window shut because they kept sticking their head through checking out the situation. I didn't want to fix it prematurely since they might just bite a new hole.
We started just throwing peanuts out in the backyard (unsalted of course) just to keep them satisfied so they wouldn't break in. What we didn't know is that this triggered a return visit from the hooded scythe guy that put the clamp on our mutt Thurston. It turned out he was the one eating all the peanuts, shells and all. Dogs aren't supposed to do this and he died before we figured it out.
The whole family really doesn't like squirrels now and after Squirrel Nutkin taught his derelict friends about the tomatoes I haven't grown them either. I can buy them in East St.Louis for 50 cents a pound. However the last time I was there, I was told that the deer are eating the tomatoes. I wonder. . . did Squirrel Nutkin some how swim across the Mississippi?
My warning to everyone: don't encourage the squirrels!
Gray Pey



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