Some years ago, my beloved yoga teacher told our class a story about her trip to Mexico. Every morning she was awakened at the crack of dawn by a rooster, and day after day she was annoyed. Finally, she just decided to accept the rooster for what he was and enjoy the morning. “Why get mad at a rooster for doing what a rooster does?” she pointed out.
The same applies to many other things: For instance, why get annoyed with a two-year-old for being two? Why get irritated with a 16-year-old for acting like an adolescent? Or feel angry with your middle-aged spouse for sometimes behaving like an old fuddy-duddy?
And all this goes as well—in my experience of late---for squirrels. Squirrels which are some of the most annoying pests around.
This year the squirrels have especially tested my patience. In the past, they’ve snacked on my tulip blooms and buried their nuts in my potted plants. But lately, they’ve found a new and especially aggravating habit. Over my deck is a beautiful pear tree, which bears tiny Seckel pears. And every day the tree is full of squirrels, who nibble at the pears, spitting out at least as much as they consume. Though I sweep the deck a half dozen times a day it’s always covered with pear droppings. Forget about going go out there with bare feet. Even sitting in a deck chair is chancy---unless you don’t mind plucking pear bits out of your hair. Why not pick the pears myself? I don’t spray them so they’re on the wormy side. And anyway, the squirrels always get to them first.
I’ve tried yelling at the varmints, shaking the tree, even shooting at them from the bedroom window with a super soaker squirt gun (please don’t rat me out to the PETA folks). But the squirrels munch on. Why? Because they are being squirrels, of course; they’re doing what squirrels do.
It seems that I have some crazy kind of squirrel karma going on and I suppose there’s a lesson here that I need to learn. I guess it’s just that the pears are ripe for a relatively short period of time, and if I have to sweep the deck more often, well, what’s the harm in that? Accept the rooster, the groundhog, the teenager, the colicky infant, even the mosquito, for what he, she, or it is.
Come to think of it, compared to those nasty, stinging mosquitoes, squirrels are remarkably cute. Just maybe I’ll buy them a bag of peanuts.