While the world has been blowing up these past months, out here in our little house in the woods, things have remained as insane as they were prior to this current apocalypse with the added joy of some acts of aggression by Mother Nature’s little cherubs. During this spring’s hiatus of humanity, it seems all creatures great and small held some kind of gathering, a symposium, if you will. (No doubt it was spearheaded by the angry groundhog who’s taken up residence in my front lawn. It’s obvious by his waddle that he’s a vindictive diva.) Anyhooo, the outcome of the symposium seems to have been a directive for widespread assault on my home by Mother Nature’s SWAT unit starting with the squirrels.
Thanks to many years of urban living, I view squirrels as rats with fluffy tails so when we found out they had taken up residence in the un-finished apartment above our garage (What we first thought were raccoon squatters turned out to be an entire battalion of fuzzy-tailed rodents.) I was less than amused. Thankfully our garage is detached and a good 20 yards from our house but still, it was a situation that could not go unremedied.
My husband, the ninja Turk, set up a trap he found on-line and prepared for battle. His handy trap yielded its first capture about a month ago and while the captive was set free to likely burrow back into the above-garage apartment again, the furry bastard did manage to spread the peanut-butter the Turk had liberally used as bait, all over the second floor before he met his fate. Unfortunately, a few of his offspring fell victim to the Turk’s obstacle course of glue traps and it has been game on since.
Last week the weather finally warmed and it seemed the heat had sent the squatters in search of living quarters more conducive to the change in climate. The battle was toning down so I summonsed a fount of courage to gather my beach goodies from the warzone. (Because when it’s beach time, ain’t no damn fuzzy tailed rat keeping me away from my lounge chairs and noodles.) Within seconds of entering the premises, my nose was assaulted with the smell of death. Two steps further and I saw something any farm girl recognizes and immediately knows the sorce from whence it came… horse flies. They swarmed the windows on both levels of the top floor apartment. I haven’t been a farm girl in well over 30 years but I knew the combo before me meant something, somewhere was dead.
Thanks to my true crime addiction, I assumed a serial killer had snuck in and hidden a victim between the boxes of Thanksgiving linens and winter sheets, careful to leave no trace aside from the body. I did what any logical gal in that situation would do, grabbed my beach chairs, slung my noodles over my shoulder and got the hell out of there. Then I immediatley passed the buck to my husband to deal with the stench.
“Honey – someone is dead in the garage.”
“Dead?” The Turk, shot me a wild glare. “You need stop watch that ID channel. It make you crazy.” The man knows me well.
“No seriously. I can smell it and there are flies.”
He slowly pulled himself away from nerding on his computer and rolled his eyes my way. “Fine. I go look.”
Anxiously I stood outside the big rollie-uppie garage door awaiting confirmation. Any second he was going to come out and say, “My beautiful, thin, brilliant wife who I am so lucky to have married all those years ago, you are correct. I have found the corpse of an evil, fuzzy tailed rodent upstairs. Your olfactory skills are beyond amazing. What a lucky man I am. Have you ever considered writing detective novels?”
Instead, he stomped down the stairs, threw up the rollie-uppy door and said. “You are crazy. No dead things there.” Before huffing back to his lair for further nerding.
Alas, a nose knows and this nose knew it would only take one or two more hot days for reality prevail. Three days later, The Turk dragged me away from making pizza dough in Tina to inspect. (What? I named my mixer Tina. Doesn’t everyone name those they depend on? What am I supposed to call her? Kitchenaid? Please.) He pointed to the upstairs windows whose screens were now bulging with massive horse flies desperate for escape. “WHAT IZ DIS?”
“I told you. Something’s dead in there. Read the flies man. That’s what we used to do on the farm.”
He cocked his head and squinted his eyes, “WHAT?”
“Flies come from decomposition. When somethings dead, maggots…”
“STOP!” He yelled. “You want me throw out before I even go inside? Why you know these things and why you have to tell me?” He didn’t wait for my likely, smart-assed answer before banishing the kids and I so he could commence a corpse hunt.
Tina and I were still kneading dough when Nugget burst into the kitchen, “Mom! You gotta thee thith, it thooooooo groth.”
It took the Turk mere minutes to find a deflated, decomposing fluffy-tailed rodent, frozen forever in a pose that said, “Oh crap.”
“Where was it?”
“Top floor in corner by beach stuff. He die under your beach chair and you miss him.”
“Hubba what?” Could I have really missed a decomposing tree rat hiding under my beach chair when I’d grabbed them just days prior? This was a new level of space cadetery, even for me.
Just to prove he was right, the Turk had me inspect the crime scene. Though he didn’t go as far as putting down a chalk-outline around the body as I would have done, he was 100% on the money. I’d grabbed three beach chairs, two noodles and a bag of sand toys right off the top of that dead tree rat and hadn’t even noticed. Quarantine has destroyed my mind.
The next day an angry squirrel stood on a branch outside our bedroom window, screaming at the Turk.
“He’s saying, you kill my father, prepare to die.”
Wide-eyed the Turk turned, “Seriously.”
“Yes dear. I speak fluent squirrel now in addition to Turkish and English.”
He simply shrugged, accepted my tale and left. Quarantine has killed his brain too.
This morning, there was a squirrel on the front deck peering inside the window, inches from the screen.
They really are coming for us but we’re just crazy enough to fight back.