Boxnoggin, Travis, and the Venerable, Part I

When I think about it, I believe the squirrel was determined to get into the Yankee Squirrel Flinger, which seemed to be doing its job. I mean, no squirrels had been flung, not that we’d seen, but the black oil sunflower seeds inside had not been pillaged by anything other than avians. So that’s good, but afterward my throat hurt for two days and I am just grateful Boxnoggin didn’t break one of his damn legs or even his fool head.

…Perhaps I should back up.

SO. Remember way back when the Princess bought (with her own debit card! and her own money! that she got from her own job! THEY GROW UP SO FAST!) a Yankee Squirrel Flinger? We charged that mofo up and hung it from the Venerable Straight-Backed Fir (the tree Odd Trundles kept headbutting for various reasons) to await developments. And so far, not only has it kept a charge for a ridiculously long time, but it also appears to be working, although a squirrel had not been flung into the side of the house yet.

For which I was grateful, yet because I am human I must admit slight disappointment. The upshot is, the product appears to perform as advertised, and the damn squirrels cannot plunder, pillage, or otherwise make a mess of it the way they have with every other feeder I’ve tried. (Like the SQUIRRELPROOF 5000 DEATHRIDE. Long-time readers will remember that debacle.)

Anyway, lately I’d noticed a squirrel or two on the Venerable Fir every time I was on the deck. They’re a bit brazen once they get a certain distance up the trunk, and they all seem to be eyeing me with furious disdain. I think they know I’m the monkey responsible for the treats hanging out of reach in the Flipper.

So. The other day I buckled Boxnoggin’s Outside Collar (long story) on him and let both dogs out, then wandered in their wake, blinking. It was just after lunch and I was in somewhat of a post-prandial stupor, clutching a fresh mug of tea to get me through the afternoon. It was a hot day, cicadas droning fitfully since they haven’t had much of the temperatures they like, and yes, I was wearing shoes.

I am slow, yes. But I can be taught.

Anyway, I shuffled for the stairs and paused upon hearing a strange scratching noise. Which meant I stopped dead at the top with a fine view of the entire yard. Normally I would have continued downstairs, enjoying my tea and the sunshine, but not that day, dear Reader.

No, not that day.

For I saw before mine wondering eyes a situation that could only lead to panic, terror, screaming, and anarchy.

…oh, NO.

Boxnoggin had just unloaded his bladder on the other side of the Venerable, and was heading to investigate the rhododendron to the far right, as he usually does every day after lunch, being a Creature of Habit.

“Oh, Lord,” I breathed, and did the only thing I could.

I set down my tea and reached for the phone nestled in my back pocket. Because I was going to get proof of this if it killed me, and I suspected it might. At the moment my fondest hope was that Boxnoggin would continue unaware and the squirrel–oh, let’s call him Travis, that’s a fine name–would have the sense to turn tail (literally) and continue up the Venerable Fir.

It… did not quite work out that way.