CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Nothing Cute About Squirrels"

The insideout room gave us a great deal of amusement over the years . One particular event is engraved in our memories .

 One spring , the native red squirrel found the space above the insideout room. As you probably already know , squirrels spend a great deal of time gathering food for storage . If you give them the space and non-threatening opportunity , they will set up housekeeping in your home . Such was the case in the CPR section house in Mattawa.

The first squirrel , in the search for warehousing of acorns and pine cones , located access into the roof-peak space above the insideout room . It was perfect from a squirrel's point of view . Access was well above the danger zone ; there was plenty of space for storage with room to expand ; it was dry and warm - a perfect family home . So , a pair moved in .

Things were quiet for a while and the couple's life went on unnoticed by the Humans below . However , when a litter of 'squirrelets' was born , activity increased . Feeding hungry mouths became the sole purpose for the couple's daily work... and work they did.

By August , as the trees' fruits ripened , gathering began in earnest . The careful placement of supplies into the eaves for winter was abandoned in favour of a chute method . The squirrels discovered that if they stood on the peak beam and dropped an acorn or cone , it conveniently rolled down the slope into position below . This cut off a great deal of time filling the warehouse . The noise of busy work no longer passed unnoticed by the Humans below. They could now hear the ever increasing din of tumbling acorns and scurrying feet - tracking the sound of each nut that rolled into the larder.

By this time , the babies were well grown and continued to be a growing concern . They constantly darted and cavorted throughout the space with the carefree attitude of all youngsters - eating , playing and sleeping their young lives away -secure in the presence of their parents .

But it all was becoming too unbearable for one particular Human in the insideout room below . When He tried to watch his new TV , the kids running around above his head made enough racket to drown out the sound of the television .

 " What's the point of buying a TV if if there's so much noise that you can't hear it?! " Over that winter , His annoyance turned to anger ...and finally all out warfare . When the tenants above got too noisy , He'd bang and thump the ceiling and curse the squirrels existence . For a few moments , the crowd upstairs remained silent waiting for what might come next . But nothing did . The length of silent moments became shorter and shorter as the squirrels realized that they had chosen their home well. Other than the occasional disturbance from the family below , they were completely safe and out of the way of danger .

Finally , unable to stand it any longer , the Human below got a ladder , a ten-pound sledge hammer and a bandana to cover His mouth . He was going to make access into the space above big enough to get up there and evict every squirrel he could find .

So He cursed , and pounded and sweated his way through the livingroom ceiling into the space . Lath and plaster fell about the insideout room caking the Human's face and shoulders , sticking to His sweat . When He finally broke through the wood ( wood?) , acorns , shells , caps , pinecones , pinecone bedding and squirrel 'poop' rained down on Him ...leaving a tiny peak of debris sitting on top of his head . Like the cone on a volcano . Enraged , He erupted through the hole in the ceiling ready for all out destruction .

But , all he saw was one squirrel , perhaps the first to find this special location , sitting on the beam challenging His presence . All others had vacated the premises when the earthquake had begun . One well placed acorn thrown at that squirrel , sent it scurrying out the hole into the outside world to locate a new abode and start over. ' There goes the neighbourhood ! '

Eventually , when He was sure the noisy upstairs family was gone for good , the Human repaired the hole , and eventually came to appreciate the humour of the situation.

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