Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Dad, the Master Squirrel Catcher

Today is my dad's birthday. I wish he was still alive so I could call him and wish him a happy birthday. I miss him.

My dad had a silly sense of humor, cracking corny jokes often, but he was funniest when he wasn't trying to be. Like the time a noisy critter moved into the air ducts of our house. Dad heard this critter rattling around for a few days. He couldn't get a visual confirmation of exactly where, or what type of wee-beastie, the critter might be. After several trips through the attic armed with a flashlight, my dad managed to scare the critter into eventually emerging from an air vent into our fancy, formal dining room. The critter was a flying squirrel.

Since flying squirrels are nocturnal, this critter decided to emerge into our dining room after dark. Since it was after dark, my dad was already wearing his jammies, which consisted of tighty-whities and white athletic socks. The flying squirrel was in a panic when my dad rounded the corner to see the critter gliding to a stop on the dining room chandelier. My dad, in full Quixotic glory, called for me to bring him a butterfly net and a box. My younger sister and I stood with mouths agape as Dad chased the squirrel around the dining room and into the living room, back and forth several times, finally cornering the beastie with the butterfly net and wrangling him into the box. Dad, weighing around 195 pounds, and standing tall at 6 feet and 1 inch, conquered his tiny, nimble opponent. What a sight that was! A sight that our neighbors were welcome to watch since the dining room and living room featured large sliding-glass-doors. (Our proper-Southern mom constantly fussed at Dad, my sister and I to close the curtains at night, but we rarely heeded these particular instructions.)

After a brief celebration and congratulations to our dad for apprehending the furry interloper, my sister and I wondered what fate lay ahead for the critter. After some lengthy, tear-filled negotiations, my dad promised my sister and me that he would drive the squirrel to a wooded-area about a mile from our house and release him or her back into the wilds.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks for the memories, and for accommodating the wishes of two tender-hearted little girls in your battle to keep the house varmint-free.