Last night the squirrels in my attic rattled around until daybreak. They ran to and fro, chewing and gnawing on any number of things. Having squirrels in my attic is not a new phenomenon for me. I’ve had them there for a long time – but lately they have been keeping me up all night. So, this morning I vowed to get rid of the rodents once and for all. My opportunity came after my three-year-old went in for her nap. I read her a story about a mouse and some cookies, tucked her in bed, kissed her and quickly headed for the closet where my son kept his BB gun. I felt a little bit like Rambo as I crept silently into the attic with the BB gun and flashlight in hand. I quickly spotted one of the pesky critters chewing on my High Anxiety Workbook. How dare that little varmint chew on my book! “Get your own Anxiety book to chew on!” I yelled as I threw my flashlight at him. He didn’t even miss a beat as the flashlight flew by him. His incessant chewing continued uninterrupted. I knew this because I could still hear the clatter of his teeth as I crawled around following the beam of my flashlight.
I reached my destination and assessed the situation. I inspected my battered flashlight and placed the BB gun at my side. I was sitting approximately ten feet away from my prey. I was armed – he wasn’t. I was sweating profusely – he wasn’t. In fact he was already on the social phobia chapter of my book and he wasn’t even showing signs of slowing. As I took in my surroundings, I could see the outline of the attic stairs in the background. The stairs were only a few feet away from me. I could shoot the squirrel, make a run for the stairs and be in the kitchen baking brownies in less than five minutes. I fixed the flashlight beam on his little beady eyes and positioned myself for the kill. Then, I heard it - a faint sound coming from the bottom of the stairs. I listened intently. The sound grew louder. “Mommy, are you up there?” It was my three-year-old. She woke up early from her nap. Darn! “Yes, honey, I’m up here looking for squirrels.” I replied as I positioned the BB gun and wiped the sweat from my eyes. I aimed at the pesky critter. He paused momentarily from his gnawing and looked curiously in my direction. “Did you find any squirrels, mommy?” “Yes, pumpkin, I found a squirrel.” I cocked the gun. “Is he cute, mommy?” I fixed the sight on him. “Can we keep him, mommy?” The sweat was pouring off me as I prepared to fire. “Mommy, does he have a family like us?” I put the gun down.
“Yes, sweetheart, he is cute and no, we cannot keep him because he’s a wild animal.” I replied as I climbed down from the attic. “I am sure he has lots of family in our attic. Would you like to see him?” I took her hand and led her up the stairs. “There he is.” I said, “Do you see him over there chewing on mommy’s anxiety book?” “Oh yes, mommy, I do see him. He’s so cute! What’s a ‘xiety’ book?” “Oh, well that is a book for all the mommies like me that have squirrels in their attics.”