Thursday, October 27, 2011

Squirrel Food

Carving pumpkins is one of the highlights of the year for my older two boys. They love Halloween in general, but this is one area mom and dad participate with them and we all work on it together. It's just a fun time for us all outside in the cool fall afternoon.

This year, when I was talking to my neighbor about carving our pumpkins, he warned me not to leave them outside or the squirrels would get them. When he said they'd "get them," I assumed he meant they'd engage in squirrel-like activities, like picking and scratching at them. As I wanted the pumpkins to decorate my giant front steps, I decided not to heed his warning.

We all spent a fun evening carving our pumpkins. Everyone was delighted with theirs and the boys had already named them and adopted them into the family. We lit them up and enjoyed them for the evening, then just left them out on the back patio where we had worked on them.

The next morning, Ben took one look out the window and said, "Oh, Mitchell! Something terrible has happened! Your pumpkin fell off the table and is all splatted and he has no face!" Mitchell got a look of pure misery on his face as he surveyed the damage: those were some seriously strong and intelligent squirrels! They must be a super breed out here because they destroyed our pumpkins! They somehow took the tops off all the pumpkins and even took the tea lights out! Most were missing pieces of their faces here and there, but Mitchell's came out the worst. They knocked it off the table completely. The front, face part was just a big, gaping hole where there was once eyes and a mouth.

Next time my neighbor, who has lived here his whole life, gives me some advice pertaining to the area, I will listen. Although, I still can't believe squirrels could do that. I mean, come on... taking the tops off and taking the lights out? Pushing a heavy pumpkin off a table? I suspect it was something with a bit more bulk and more experience scavaging: raccoons...

Well, I spent all morning fixing our new family members and if you don't look too closely, you can't even see the dozens of toothpicks holding their fragile faces together! Looking back now, I think it may have actually be easier to just start over again...

I did remember to take a quick picture of them before their assault though, so at least we can remember them in their prime.

Happy Halloween!

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