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Super Squirrel Revenge

My brother Steve loves birds. Several years ago his enthusiasm spread to me, his older sister, and I’m thrilled to say that I caught the bird flu.

I was hooked that first spring on a trip to Point Pelee with my bro and his wife, Linda. There, I met scores of bleary-eyed pre-dawn birders, binoculars dangling against their chests, Tilley hats covering their heads and rapt pleasure on their faces.

It didn’t take long for me to become obsessed with the thrill of the hunt. Who knew spotting a Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting or the elusive Prothonotary Warbler could bring such a sense of accomplishment and joy?

After years of this hobby, Steve became a plethora of bird knowledge. The birds trusted him so much he held up feathers and swallows swooped down to take them from his hand. These birds were so intelligent they recognized the old coffee container he kept the nesting material in and divebombed him the minute they saw the can. Isn’t nature amazing!

Such was his love that he built spectacular birdhouses and feeders to adorn his backyard, an enticement for his feathered friends to come nest and dine. All was well in bird paradise until Super Squirrel crashed the party.

And that’s where our story begins.

It’s well-known that squirrels are incredible gymnasts. They can climb slippery poles, hurdle fences, perform hydro-wire-tightrope-balancing acts, and fly from branches, especially when bird seed is involved. But Steve’s homemade feeders were impenetrable, even though many had tried.

Until Super Squirrel breached security.

How in the world could an animal do that? Baffled, Steve viewed the Olympic spectacle. Using sheer speed, the agile critter took a running leap, bounced off different points of contact on his way up, almost as if he was a flying squirrel, and arrived at his destination … Steve’s seeds.

After spotting this same grey squirrel with streaks of brown in his tail, stealing birdseed one too many times, Steve had had enough. Screaming like a lunatic, he barged from his patio door and chased the varmint off the feeder and along the tree-line. Super Squirrel's catch-me-if-you-can scolding from a branch high above, irritated Steve all the more. If only he could get rid of that pesky animal for good.

On his riding mower one day, he spotted something moving in the tall grasses. Once he got closer, he realized it was a squirrel and it was flailing wildly about. Whatever was wrong with it? Odd. Steve did another pass on his way back and realized the squirrel was still there, scampering hysterically but getting nowhere. When he noticed it had the distinct markings of his furry nemesis, he couldn’t believe his good fortune.

An evil laugh escaped Steve. Ha! He had Super Squirrel right where he wanted him. Now he could exact revenge. Perhaps, he’d make another pass and run over him with his riding lawn mower—accidentally of course. But a niggle of guilt charged through him at the murderous thought.

Mercy? Seriously? God wanted him to extend mercy? But … but … hadn’t God trapped the squirrel just for him?

His conscience seared—he remembered that great mercy Jesus had extended to him on the cross. Had there ever been a greater mercy than that?

Lumbering inside the house, he asked his wife for help. Linda put a garbage pail lid over Super Squirrel’s head so he couldn’t bite, and Steve began the tedious task of unwinding the troublemaker’s tail from multiple strands of grass.

Finally the squirrel was free. As Super Squirrel raced away, a skinny rat’s tail hanging limply behind him, Steve chuckled to himself at the odd-looking sight. He'd gotten his revenge after all.

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