Our neighborhood has a pumpkin thief, and it’s not one of the seventh graders from the middle school — it’s a big, fat squirrel, who’s feeding his obesity with our seasonal porch decor.
I bought a few of those little gourd pumpkins from Super Saver the other day, thinking they would look cute in a bowl on my coffee table. Well, the seven-month-old had something to say (err, do) about that, so the pumpkins were moved outside to the front porch. When we arrived home from our trip to Colorado, one of the three was missing, and another had nibbles taken out of it. “Strange,” I thought. The very next day, Bryan was outside, heard a thump, and turned around just in time to see our perpetrator coming down out of the tree to retrieve one of my little pumpkins, which he had just dropped. His beady little eyes met Bryan’s, and though he was frightened (the squirrel, that is), he held his ground until Bryan charged him. Our neighbors caught the squirrel twice more with one of my pumpkins clutched in it’s mouth — they threw a book at him from their porch, and he shrieked (which sounds extremely interesting.. I’m not well read on angry squirrel sounds). After keeping my pumpkins under lock and key (i.e. hidden beneath citronella candles), I decided to set them out as a peace offering, mainly because the shrieking squirrel didn’t sound like an enemy I’d want to have. He took the orange one, but left the white one for a few days, nibbling here and there at it. I think he didn’t like the taste, or is just “too good” for white gourd pumpkins.
The squirrel has since been seen scaling our house with a neighbors pumpkin by three other bystanders. Another neighbor has a full-size pumpkin on their porch, and since his weight-gaining is slowing him down, he’s been perching on their table and taking chunks out of it. Whenever he sees us, though, he runs to the roof and watches over the gutter until we leave.