When we moved to Smallville, we rented a house for the first six months to see if we wanted to live here, or there, or there. It was a nice house, small, small yard, no real outdoor space.
So six months later we found a house we liked and bought it. It was a nice house, with all that we wanted for a house, and on nearly an acre, so we had a good sized yard for the Pocket Dog to run and jump and play.
And the yard was visited by all sorts of birds. One morning, not long after we moved in I saw a couple of splotches of red in the trees out front. Cardinals! Absolutely gorgeous birds. We watched every morning as they came back and searched the trees for something to eat.
We got a couple of bird feeders, and set one up in the front yard, and one in the back just off the deck. So every morning, sitting at the kitchen table, we watch the birds come: the Cardinals, the Finches, and every once in awhile, a Dove and a Woodpecker.
Then the squirrels came. They had been sitting in the trees watching the birds go through the seed buffet, and they thought, Why not?
So the squirrels came down from the trees and began eating the seeds that the birds knocked out of the feeders and that fell to the ground. It was just two squirrels, which I have named Cecil and Beanie, but they visited every morning to scrounge around the deck for dropped seeds.
Then Carlos bought a hanger, to hang the bird feeder off the side of the deck, so now there were no seeds on the deck. Now the squirrels began to go onto the feeder and get the seeds themselves. Of course, since the feeder is made for bird beaks, squirrels have a devil of a time getting seeds.
Carlos sat there laughing as the squirrel jumped on top of the feeder, trying to get at the seeds.
You won't be laughing when he learns how to pop the top and get at the seeds, I said.
He just wants some seeds, he said.
No, he wants all the seeds, I said.
Later that day, Carlos was out back playing with the dog, and saw something on the ground.
Those cute squirrels had chewed through the nylon rope and let the feeder fall to the ground so the top would pop and the seeds would spill, and they could eat.