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Archive for December 6th, 2009

My wife and I volunteer with a local wildlife rehaber to release small wild animals on our land.

Four squirrels brought to the shelter when they were just wee ones were now ready to be released. When we got to the shelter Sparrow, (yes it’s a fake name to protect the innocent and for those that know her it is kind of funny) the director of the facility handed us  two pillowcases, two squirrels in each, both sacks are knotted at the top, the contents of both were hissing, snarling and squirming.   As I held a squirming hissing sack as far from my body as possible, Sparrow  gave us our instructions,  ” just untie the knot but leave the top of the sack twisted,  gently place the whole thing into the squirrel box close the lid and let the squirrels be, they will slowly work themselves out of the pillowcases”.

Off we drove with two sacks of hissing, snarling squirrels in our back seat.  Not much was said on the way home, each lost in thought pretending we were not at all nervous about what may happen if whatever evil in those sacks managed to escape.

I was not feeling overly confident.  Raccoons and possums are much easier, open the cage let ’em out bring them some food and you are done.   Squirrels would seem easy enough to release, but frankly climbing up a ladder with a hissing, growling sack of squirrels in my hand was not overly comforting.

I’m in position for operation squirrel dump.  The plan: 1) Place the sack into the box.  2) Untie the knot.  3) Close the top of the box. 4) latch the top of the box closed. 5) scoot down the ladder for the safety of the ground, while my wife takes pictures.  In goes the hissing sack, top of box is closed and latched.  I’m halfway down the ladder but I’m not happy.  I can never seem to leave well enough alone.  The hissing has stopped there are now sounds at all.  I reach up and give a little knock on the box, nothing.   I climb back up the ladder and unlatch the lid.  All I remember is a grey blob heading towards me, soft fuzz against my check, a growl in my ear and weight on my shoulder and then nothing.  My heart pounding, I’m holding  the ladder in a white knuckle death grip, my wife is hunched over visibly shaking, tears of laughter streaming down her cheeks.  I get myself under control as I know there is another one in the box.  I make it to the ground we are both standing back from the tree watching the box.   “You know,” I said to my wife, my eyes never leaving the small hole in the box. “I never actually saw a squirrel.  How do we know what is really in there?” Her response?  gails of laughter.  My heart finally settling down,  slowly making my way to the tree to retrieve my ladder, that’s when I see it,  just a few feet away lying in the grass is the other hissing and snarling pillowcase…

It seems that if you click on the pictures it makes them better, I recommend clicking on the picture to the right.

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