Jon de Vos: Chucky gets the rodent
Winter Park, CO Coloraod
The other morning I opened the garage door, settled into my car, buckled the seatbelt and backed up a dozen feet stopping abruptly when I heard a loud crash, usually an expensive noise when you’re backing up.
This particular bang was followed by such a clatter that I jumped out of my sleigh to see what was the matter. (Sorry, I’ve been doing that since Christmas.).
So, I’m now outside the car where the air is filled with a high-pitched squeal that I first thought must be coming from under the hood. I reached back in the car and turned off the ignition. Hmm, no difference. Maybe even a little louder now with the engine off. Where was it coming from . . . what the . . . ?
There, across the garage, next to the freezer, stood my wife on tip-toe, screeching like the noon whistle in a mining town. In one hand she held a package of frozen pork chops overhead like Chucky’s hatchet. In the other she clutched a garbage can lid like a shield.
Our eyes met across a crowded room. Without taking a breath, she shrieked, “DO SOMETHING! A SQUIRREL JUMPED INTO THE WILD BIRD SEED!”
I was so relieved. It was only a squirrel and not the water pump on the car, after all. I ran to her side, clapping the lid back onto the bird food, trapping the burgling rodent in the act. I patted her on the wrist (my wife, not the squirrel) and promised to dispose of the buck-toothed varmint.
Breathing had just turned towards normal when our two mutts roused their ample hindquarters from their statuary repose next to the fireplace and decided to make a break for freedom. After all, how often do they find all the doors standing open? That being a rhetorical question in Fraser.
My wife has some odd quirks. One being that she fully believes that if a dog steps out of the house without a leash, two forms of identification, rabies tag and a license, that a fully-loaded Pepsi truck will come speeding down the front walkway and mash them into fireplace rugs.
In the face of this impending doom, the squirrel but a distant memory, she leapt like a gazelle to prevent the escape, smacking the ‘down’ button on the garage door like she was on the National Whack-A-Mole team. And down the door went, retracting like it should when grinding into an unexpected obstacle, in this instance, the hood of my car.
My own screech didn’t even slow them down as they bolted through the door and off into the new worlds of freedom that lay beyond. With a hairy glare at my multiple faults of opening the door to get my car out, permitting a squirrel to run in and allowing the dogs to get out, my wife sprinted past me in hot pursuit, nearly tripping over the two flea bags where they’d stopped a scant six feet outside the garage to smell the . . . well, whatever they were smelling, nobody was likely to mistake it for roses. Following a stern lecture, they went sullenly back to their cell, flopping disgustedly onto their fleece beds by the fireplace.
The riot was quelled; the crisis was over, but I still had a job to do.
I cracked the lid and let some light in on the prisoner. Hey, I recognized him! I couldn’t tell if it was Chip or Dale but I’d know that face anywhere. I drug the can over to the edge of the driveway, tipped it and watched him hop out. He scampered a few feet and then looked back, grateful for getting sprung from the loony bin.
Finally he ran off. I drove away. Tomorrow we start again.
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