I have my own squirrel story now.
On Friday, I took the bus to work and caught a ride home with my fella. We got to my apartment, our arms full of junk from the day, and I started to unlock the door.
Suddenly, he jumps back and yells. "Get away!"
If someone says that to a native Texan, the first thought is "COCKROACH!"
Fortunately, it wasn't a cockroach. It was just this:
Not a huge crisis. The poor thing seemed terrified of us, really. However, if we were to proceed inside as planned, two things could happen: (a) The squirrel could enter the apartment, and that leaves me frightened for more than just my wool. (b) The squirrel could jump on my fella's head. He's very tall, and if I were squirrel-sized, I'd probably want to perch there, too. While that would make an adorable picture, I've recently heard of a gardener friend of a friend who had to get rabes shots when she was bit by a wild squirrel. Not to mention that my fella looks better without fleas.
So we resorted to tossing rocks at it. We couldn't bring ourselves to really hurt him, though. So we tossed small rocks that bounced off his head, and that wasn't enough. Then we tossed acorns, thinking that throwing food at people often makes them leave.
Still no luck. Then we go back to the trees outside the entrance. My fella finds a long stick. "Here," he says, handing it to me. "Poke him with this."
"You took it from me."
"But it will just run up the branch and onto my arm!"
We had a good laugh at this point. My fella grew up on a farm and is no stranger to possums, mice, rats, birds, and other midwestern critters you don't want in your house but somehow find their way in. As things go, this wasn't too bad.
But that didn't do anything about the possibilities mentioned above.
We thought about leaving for a bit, but one of us had to use the bathroom. (Isn't it always like that?)
Finally, in a burst of bravery, my fella takes the stick from me and walks up and jabs the squirrel in the bum-bum.
Sure enough, it jumped onto the stick and began running up it. My fella was a bit too surprised to react, so it's a good thing I shrieked. He then dropped the branch onto the ground. The squirrel, who I think will stay away from my apartment after this, tore off into the safety of the bushes and trees. Which he shouldn't have left in the first place!
I've recently started reading an excellent blog called Inanities, written by a young woman who is a journalist in Egypt and writes daily about all the people she knows who have been dragged in by the secret police and such.
I think we should trade blog names.