Squirrelled Away

by Lee A. Hart

By the shores of Mississipi,
By the shining big tree forests,
At the portal of her cabin,
In the pleasant summer sunshine,
Mrs. Mullins stood admiring,
Her delightful new bird feeder,
Just installed that very day.

Birds already had discovered
Golden treasures lay within it.
Tasty seeds and nuts and suet,
Luring songbirds rare and common,
Lovely singing, brilliant plumage.
Best of all, the salesman promised,
"Robo-feeder's guaranteed as
Squirrel proof in every way".

Far above, the bright-eyes gather,
Tails like question marks are twitching,.
Every tree-top has observers,
Longing, dreaming, plotting, scheming.
"Curse these birds; these interlopers,
Flying in from winter havens.
Why should feathered foes be feasting,
While we locals starve today?"

We must claim our rightful portion,
But this feeder smells of secrets.
What brave soul will reconnoiter,
To discover what lies hidden,
For this chocolate almond cookie?
Hammy needs no more enticing,
Birdbath moat cannot deter him,
But as paw contacts the water,
Pained and shocked, he leaps away!

"Crivens!" shouted Chief McSquizzy.
"Humans think they're oh-so-clever.
Time for aerial surveillance,
Figure out its source of power."
Rocky dons his flying helmet,
Swooping down, never touching,
"Hokey smokes; that box says 'Shock-Eez',
That's where all the wires lay."

"Call the bomb squad; get old Slappy."
"Now you're talking! Got explosives?
What, defuse it first? Dagnabbit!"
She and Skippy creep up on it.
"Now what do we do?" he whispers.
"This!" She flings it in the birdbath.
Sparks and smoke and flames ensue.
"There! That's more fun anyway."

As the arc-and-spark show ended,
As the smoke was dissipating,
As a hundred eyes were watching,
Slappy struts right through the birdbath,
To the pole upon the island,
Where above the feeder beckoned,
"Skippy, climb up there and get me
Something worth a hero's pay."

He attempts, with youthful vigor,
Jumping, skidding, slipping, sliding,
But could gain no meager purchase,
On that slip-n-slidey surface.
"Magic?" Twitchy indicated.
"Teflon!" Coco stipulated.
"Bring me pine sap, spider webbing,
I'll make Gekko-glue today!"

In a secret lab'ratory,
In her hidden inner sanctum,
Testing, trying, analyzing,
"Bwoo-ha-hah! I have invented,
Super-gluey ultra-taffy.
Coat the pole with this and tree bark.
But beware; it's very sticky,
Also tasty, by the way."

Quickly then the post was covered,
Stuck-on bark a squirrely highway,
"What wee lad will take the summit?"
But the boys are strangely quiet.
Sandy Cheeks takes up the challenge,
"This job needs a gal, I reckon."
At the top, a twig was ventured,
Something knocked it far away!

"There's a whirly-gig up yonder,
Triggered when I git too near it.
What's up top to give it power?"
Sure enough, tree-top observers,
Spotted roof-top solar panels.
"Block the sunlight; stop its power.
What to use to make a cover?"
PLOP; a bird has shown the way...

Poop is needed; mountains of it,
What about her daffy doggie?
He's provided ample samples,
Search the yard! Collect and drop it.
Soon the ground is filled with squirrels,
Finding, moving, dropping, plopping,
Whirly's slowing, crawling, stopping,
Now the coast is clear; hurray!

Yikes! She sprung her Springer Spaniel!
Run! The dog is squirrel-crazy.
Screwy leaps to catch the tail-end,
Squirrely-tailed dog spins madly,
'Til the dizzy dog collapses,
Then sees double trees and squirrels,
He attempts to dash between them,
BONK! A tree gets in the way.

Secret Squirrel jumps to action,
With a plan to neutralize him,
While his head is tweety-birdies,
Hypnotize him while he's senseless,
Doggie treat on string is swaying,
"You are getting hungry... hungry...
You're a bird dog; chase the birdies,
There's one! Quick; he'll get away!"

As the dog is chasing phantoms,
As the squirrels gaze in wonder,
Jeff traverses post to border,
Like a fly across a ceiling,
At the edge, he peers above it,
Hungry eyes see boundless banquets,
"Scrat, forget your precious acorn,
Here's a squirrel holiday!"

Ties a vine so more can follow,
Then proceeds into the hollow.
But electric eyes are watching,
Changing warning lights to crimson,
And a gate now blocks the bounty.
"Thief!" a blue jay guard attacks him.
Falling back, Jeff grabs at feathers,
Feathered furball falls away.

Down they plummet into squirrels.
Feathers fly from foolish jaybird,
Who retreats, humiliated.
Hero Jeff recounts the treasures,
And the robot eye that watches,
Serving birds, but scorning squirrels.
Squirrels shout, "Discrimination!
That's against the law today!"

Surly pokes some trophy feathers
In a quickly fashioned headband.
"Me know how; dress up like injun,
Feathers fool the sneaky spybot!"
Up the vine he climbs to feeder,
In disguise, he boldly enters,
Then peers down with cheeks a-bulging,
"Fee? It workff! We feaft today!"

Now the squirrels mob the feeder,
Festooned with the jaybird's feathers,
Every tribe of every color,
Crowding in to share the bounty.
Mrs. Mullins, from her window,
Looks upon the scene in horror,
Quickly phones for reinforcements,
"Send repairman right away!"

When the multitude had feasted,
When the hopper had been emptied,
When the happy horde retreated,
Then a truck pulls in the driveway.
"Ay caramba!" Tico pointed,
"Criminal lo reparar√°!"                       (The criminal will repair it!)
"No!" McSquizzy calls his clansmen.
"Furry tailers, bombs away!"

As the pine cones rain upon him,
As the acorns fall asunder,
As the human ducks and covers,
Still he lifts the hated feeder,
And installs the new replacement.
Clicks the key; it's armed and ready.
Now at last, he sprints for cover,
Dented hard hat runs away.

"Waily waily," moan the squirrels,
"Are our efforts all for nothing?"
"This means war!" their chieftan shouted,
"No one messes with McSquizzy.
Time for the atomic option,
Mr. Happy; now's your moment,
We'll destroy the cursed feeder.
What we can't have, NO one may!"

"Gnaw the branches right above it.
Drop a mighty limb upon it.
A ton o' tree will crush the bugger!"
Squirrels dash in by the dozens,
Chewing, clawing, biting, breaking,
Soon, with little wood remaining,
Bending, sagging, creaking, cracking,
It was nearly chewed away.

Then it was that Mullins came out,
Then approached the loathsome feeder,
Then with bag of tasty bird seed,
Then she starts to slowly fill it,
Humming softly as she's working,
Unaware of Death above her,
By a thread, it's barely hanging,
Any moment, to give way.

A dozen squirrels gaze in horror.
"No!" they cried. "She's not the target!"
"We must save her from disaster!"
Leaping down, they land upon her,
Terrified, she jumps away,
As the mighty limb is falling,
Just in time, she fled disaster.
Squirrels, you have saved the day!

By the time the summer ended,
By the time the leaves wore colors,
In the portal of her cabin,
Mrs. Mullens stood admiring,
Her delightful double feeders,
One for birds, and one for squirrels,
Joyfully, she heard their singing,
Happily, she watched them play. --------

I wrote this for Kelly at www.alteredreality.com. The plan was to include every cartoon squirrel I could think of. That made it rather long. I borrowed the stucture from "The Song of Hiawatha" by Longfellow. I hope you enjoy it!


A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2022 by Lee A. Hart. Created 3/6/2012. Last updated 1/21/2022.
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