Sunday, May 24, 2015

Squirrel Killer

Olga and I took a walk in the cemetery yesterday, and a landmark event occurred: Olga killed her first squirrel.

I am not celebrating this. In fact, I feel terrible about it. But I suppose it was bound to happen.

She was running through the grass, Kong in mouth, when she heard a noise from a thicket. She crashed into the bushes as she usually does, and I laughed at her eagerness until I heard what I can only describe as a tiny squirrel scream. I ran to the thicket shouting "Drop it! Drop it!" When I got there, Olga was nose-first into a pile of leaves. She backed up to reveal an adolescent squirrel with no outwardly obvious injuries. It wasn't really moving -- just oddly flexing its little squirrel jaws.

We walked away to give it some time to recuperate -- I hoped it was playing dead. But when we went back a few minutes later, it was still there, and even the jaw movement had stopped. The prognosis was not good.

I can take a small degree of solace from the fact that gray squirrels are invaders in the U.K., displacing the native red squirrels. If Olga had to kill something, at least it was an exotic species. I suppose squirrels (and probably other critters) are particularly vulnerable at this time of year, when the new generation is young and clueless. Dave and I have discussed the need to keep her indoors early in the morning to protect the young fox(es?) in our garden.

On a brighter note, our first rose of the year blossomed yesterday, and we have two other bushes that are just a day or two away from flowering. The blackberries are also blooming -- berries for cereal later this summer! And the ladybirds are still on the campion.

Last night Dave and I went to dinner with several others at our friend Keith's house, where we had beef bourguignon and several bottles of his co-worker's special stash of Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape. We contributed some champagne to kick off the evening. Now I am contributing some much-needed coffee to my system.


  1. Poor Olga! She probably had no idea what to do with the squirrel once she had killed it. I am a bit more sanguine about such things, I suppose, living where I do.
    My yard long beans are covered in aphids. ACCH! But yesterday I saw a few lady bugs working their way across the stems. I need a billion of them.
    Sounds like a good evening! I hope it was!
    Love your rose. Isn't it nice to walk about the garden each morning to see what has happened in the night?

  2. bummer about the little squirrel. Olga will remember this day forever more.

  3. oh, I know how you feel. When we first moved out here, that spring there were two young adolescent squirrels romping in the yard and I hate to say that the cat got both of them. she also killed a wren and a couple of voles. and then the killing stopped. until this year. she killed a wren earlier this year and then yesterday, I came home to find an inca dove by the back door. my collection of bird skulls is growing.

  4. Our dog Ginger has killed a squirrel or two in her time....and both of our dogs killed a cat last year. We found the poor thing in the back yard all horribly mangled. I felt really bad about that. (Although I can't think what possessed the cat to come in a fenced back yard with two large dogs, unless it was stalking our bird feeders.)

  5. Wow on Olga's kill! I didn't think dogs were really capable of actually catching a squirrel -- maybe the adolescent was really slow? Or is Olga that fast? In any case, I'd find it upsetting, too.

  6. Olga is a dog, their instinct is often to hunt other creatures. My upstairs neighbor would simply shrug and say 'That's the nature of things.'

    Lovely rose.

    Ms Soup

  7. Oh dear, you've reminded me of one of our cats way back when ... he was a real hunter. The last straw for me was when he brought home a squirrel tail. Just the tail. I felt terrible. From then on, he and all our cats have been indoor only. (With the added bonus of avoiding fleas.) Olga must be extremely quick to have caught that squirrel.