Water they’ll think of next
Monday October 11th 2010, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

This is not the most reverent post. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

When my boys were young, they–well let’s see. Dates. 1990 for the first Super Soaker? Sounds right. They kept making them bigger and squirtier from there on out, coinciding with my boys’ growing appreciation for just what a fine piece of machinery these could be. (With the occasional summer exclamation heard of You boys keep those things AWAY from my hearing aids!) The girls played with them too, but with not quite the same passion for power.

There was a birthdays-and-Christmas arms race going on for several years running. If one of the boys got one (and they did, it was at the top of their wish list), their dad had to have a bigger one.

I thought the things had all long since gone to that great recycling squirt gun in the sky, but no: when I said something last week, my husband grinned and said he’d kept his biggest baddest one all this time. Never know when you might need it. (Grandson? January?  Did you say grandson? Dude!)

Remember that book my daughter-in-law sent me that says squirrels don’t learn by fear because then they just couldn’t be squirrels?

The gray ones have, with the onset of Fall, gotten bossier and meaner to my cute little black ones I watched grow up and have been vigorously chasing them away at teethpoint from the area under the birdfeeders.

This will not do.

The first time I hefted that thing, wondering, (for the record, it weighs more than I do) I had a gray bushytail looking at me like, what is that? Is that fruit? Those bright colors says it’s fruit and it’s sweet and I want some. Just hand it over, lady, winter’s coming and I gotta stock up.

I opened the door.

It couldn’t take its eyes off–but no wait Feederfiller is coming OUT! RUN!

That water can run faster than I can. Okay, wait, I have to prime the thing, open the door, raise, aim, oh wait hang on, step further away from the feeder so I don’t get the seed damp, okay, now try!

Those gray squirrels, over the last few days, have stopped doing a flat-out run and have started doing the anti-hawk zig zag dance trying to get away from it better. They can plot the spray’s trajectory better than I can theirs. I’ve barely gotten a drop of water on any of them and only from a goodly distance.

But still.  Turns out they like being squirted about as much as cats do. And they don’t come slinking right on back, either, like they would if I’d only scared them–not if I’m anywhere in view they don’t.

The black squirrels have already caught on pretty much that I’m totally cool with them.

And now they get the place to themselves, unbossed and unbitten. The supersoaker is resting pointing at the porch. They’ve all learned.

(Psst–that thing’s obsolete by ten years. Did you see that Wikipedia link? How to powerboost your soaker? Go for it, kids!)

14 Comments so far
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Mwahaha, that is a wonderful image- you in combat mode with the evil greys! The Black Squirrel Liberation Front demands a picture of its new freedom fighter!

Comment by tinebeest 10.11.10 @ 11:12 pm

The Black Squirrels here are the aggressors,mean little buggers.Chase you right back in the house ala yarn harlot. Super soakers I remember well, my son was 10 in 1990 and they were big on his list, next were nerf guns, he is 29 and still chases hi younger sister 16 with them.Do they ever grow up?

Comment by Kris 10.12.10 @ 1:07 am

it was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend – thanks! And out cottage is the great elephant graveyard of supersoakers. We have them all, and have kept most of them. With the lake handy for easy filling, there are epic battles on our beach every summer.

Comment by Sandra 10.12.10 @ 6:37 am

Hahahahahahaha… Oh, to be in the squirrel’s mind…

Comment by Channon 10.12.10 @ 6:50 am

The best way to use a super soaker is for the kids to be having their battle with plain old squirt guns in the front yard while the old folks sneak around from the back and catch the kids in a crossfire from the water rifles. Guess how I know!

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 10.12.10 @ 7:04 am

For some reason I am hearing theme music like the old spaghetti westerns that helped Clint Eastwood become famous.
“There’s a new law in town, and you seed-thievin’ squirrels had better head for the hills if you know what’s good for you”

Comment by Diana Troldahl 10.12.10 @ 7:09 am

Finally – a squirrel post I approve of! Heh!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 10.12.10 @ 7:43 am

I’m officially rolling on the floor

and yes, I remember the super soaker — I have a kid the same age, and my husband’s side of the family is infamous for water fights (squirt guns, buckets, hoses — its all good!)

and I know exactly what I need to get my son-in-law for Christmas — yeah, boy baby coming — DUDES!!

Comment by Bev 10.12.10 @ 7:59 am

I laughed out loud at this post–I used to take a water-uzi to the squirrels at my birdfeeders! (Didn’t work.)

Comment by Abby 10.12.10 @ 8:39 am

Look, lady, when I wanna shower, I’ll letcha know!
Never had any super soakers around here, but it reminds me of the time some years ago when Amalie and I had parakeets. Sometimes the only way to keep them out of something was to use a water pistol we kept for that purpose. No soakers — didn’t want to drench the furniture.

Comment by Don Meyer 10.12.10 @ 9:14 am

I read somewhere that the black and the grey squirrels are the same species only the black gene is dominant. Sooooo, if you want more little black squirrels around you ought to let the greys and blacks mingle at least a little bit (get my drift?)

On a related note, my parents were entertained for a few weeks by hummingbirds. One bird was so fiercely territorial that my parents took pity on those kept away that they bought more feeders. They miss them now but hope they return next year. If squirrels migrated you might be more generous but I can understand why it’s important to discourage interlopers (lest you gain a reputation as the crazy squirrel lady, a label that would be as hard to shake as a scurry of squirrels.)

Comment by LynnM 10.12.10 @ 9:39 am

that was just too, too funny! Seriously – thanks for the laugh. g

Comment by gMarie 10.12.10 @ 11:55 am

Given how many squirt bottles are around our house right now as we tutor the kittens, your post is especially amusing.

By the way, I hear from a good source that raccoons enjoy being squirted, so don’t expect your new arsenal to work if you get some of those guys raiding the seed.

Comment by twinsetellen 10.12.10 @ 6:18 pm

Alison, I spent this Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada with a water gun (not a supersoaker, but the nerf equivalent) trained at the squirrel who has learned to climb my parents’ birdfeeder. They certainly are the right tool for the job!

Comment by AnnieBee 10.13.10 @ 6:14 am

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