A squirrelly plan

Posted by crosenbl on September 21, 2009 

Here they come, the first waves of the flood.

Stepping on my porch the other morning, I glanced at my front lawn, already sprinkled with brown oak leaves. Some fluttered down as I stood there. I live in a shady neighborhood, where raking will be a constant chore until Thanksgiving. Sometimes, it can be oddly relaxing, a chance to think, but mostly, it's a pain.

Then movement caught my eye. A squirrel was scooping up leaves with its mouth. It had quite a bundle by the time it scampered up a tree to add to its nest. Within a minute, it was back for more material.

Suddenly, it struck me: An army of trained squirrels, 100 or so, could make short work of my yard. They'd be like the crew in the Johnny Depp remake of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," only dutifully clearing my lawn instead of shelling walnuts. I'd never have to pick up a rake again.

I shared this with my wife standing at the door. She gave me the bemused smile usually reserved for small children who announce they're building a spaceship to Mars out of a packing box. Then she pointed out the drawbacks to rodent employees — droppings, sharp teeth, rabies, fleas. And what if they formed a union and made demands, like living in the attic?

My brilliance unrecognized, she kissed me and told me to go to work.

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