Settled in for dinner the night after Batgirl and Olsen Twins discovered the glory of the bird feeders, we were all expecting a repeat performance. Despite the mess the dashing duo made, I was even mildly amused at the prospect.
My amusement lasted until we were mid-dinner, then turned to something close to terror. The Princess looked up–her seat gives her a clear view of the deck–and her eyes widened. “Uh, Mum,” she said, conversationally, “there’s three of them.”
At first I thought she meant three Olsen Twins, since we were discussing the previous evening’s bird feeder antics, and I was momentarily confused. Then I turned my head, and saw Batgirl shimmying casually up the pole. She grabbed with her back feet, stretched out as if gravity had been momentarily turned off for all plump genius-gymnast squirrels, caught the left-hand bird feeder in her front paws, and proceeded to begin her own snacking.
“Son of a bitch,” I said, and the Little Prince, as usual, giggled.1 There were, indeed, three of them.
The new arrival was somewhat portly, or so I thought before she sat back on her haunches, watching Batgirl with great interest, and showed rows of enlarged teats down either side of her swelling torso.
“Huh,” I said. “I think she’s expecting.”
“Expecting what?” the Little Prince wanted to know.2
“Mom means knocked up.” The Princess glanced at me. “Uh, pregnant.”
“If she isn’t, she’s doing a good imitation.” I wondered if squirrels were supposed to be spawning in midsummer, or if she was a late bloomer, or if I was wrong and she was just a particularly successful birdseed thief.
The world may never know.
Anyway, Preggers McGee (for so I christened her, making the Princess almost irrigate her nose with mirth-pressurized milk) watched until Batgirl had her inevitable slip. Batgirl did the same “fall, halt in midair, turn feet towards ground, land like a ton of bricks” she’d done the previous evening, and Preggers hopped down from the deck railing, shouldered a grazing Olsen Twins aside, and gave Batgirl an arch look.
“HONEY, TAKE A REST,” Preggers cheeped, and launched herself at the pole.
Have you ever seen a maybe-gravid squirrel pole dance? I’m here to tell you, my friends, it’s a helluva thing. She twisted. She turned. She held on with one hand while the rest of her spun like a propeller. In short, she showed Batgirl that while female youth and inexperienced is glorified in our culture, it’s experience and grit that gets you the birdseed.
In short, she made it to the top of the pole, where two metal arches blossomed, ending in the hooks from which the bird feeders depended. The pole swayed slightly, a windchime on one of the lower arms giving out a mournful tinkle, and a patter of birdseed fell.
“Oh, shit,” I breathed.3 But I needn’t have worried–at least, not yet.
Preggers balanced atop the pole, threw Batgirl a smirk, and shimmed down a little so she could brace herself against where the arches joined the central pole. She stretched, a ponderous taffy-loop of squirrel, and reached the bird feeder Batgirl hadn’t managed to plunder (yet). A shower of birdseed fell, and Olsen Twins was singing hosannas of joy to this new savior.
Batgirl, however, was less than pleased.
TO BE CONTINUED…