A New Enemy

    Not a single one of my hot peppers survived this year.  Not the Reapers, nor habaneros, nor jalepenos.  All the plants have been dug up and destroyed.

    I bought little pumpkins for my little pumpkins.  We put them out on the front steps for decoration.  They made the house festive.  Four little pumpkins sat on our stairs.  After the first night, three remained.  Something came in the night and just carried one away.  It was never seen again.  A second night passes.  Bites appeared on the tops of the pumpkins.  And finally the third night, where the thing biting broke through the skin and hollowed Lina’s pumpkin.  

    I drove up after work and saw it feasting.  It was a squirrel.  Fat and happy and sitting over that pumpkin like it had a chair at a table. 

    Our new home in Flint has many friends.  Republic Trash has always done us right.  Our neighbors are kind and friendly.  Everyone on the street that owns a dog is known by sight to our children.  But this home has some enemies.  Squirrels.  

    Our home is under a massive acorn tree.  And every fall as the leaves turn these acorns become missiles falling down upon all who enter our backyard.  The squirrels climb up there and shake branches to make the acorns fall.  Then they come down to claim them.  I have been hit on my noggin more times than I can count.  Sometimes, I can hear them laughing at me.  Chip and Dale and all their Rescue Rangers.  

    I don’t know how to fight such a small and cute enemy.  I fear I am in a war that I cannot win.  So I watch the chipmunks and the squirrels scurry.  I watch them fatten and prepare.   And by the time March comes, I’ll probably be longing for their return.

From the frontlines,

Ernesto Alaniz