Squirrel vs. Chipmunk: Tomato Thieves on Trial (or The mistrial of Banana Bread Squirrel)
The trial date: Immediately
Courthouse: Patio garden
Let’s just say this wasn’t a fair trial from the beginning because right away we, my husband and I, blamed the chipmunks. The little striped critters were frequent flyers on our patio, and I was sure that our tomatoes were part of their summer vacation package. They had already built a lovely summer home under our three-season porch. Would a dip in the pool be next? The chipmunk theory held fast for days that is when the little cherry tomatoes were the only ones going missing. Then the big Beefsteaks started to go…
When I say go, I mean – go – gone – ready to file a missing tomato report. No pieces left behind, no half-eaten tomatoes with little toothy impressions in them. The big boys vanished. Our tomato plants left naked and afraid. Who are these Houdini-critters *&%?
Then I remembered an old friend – from a summer reunion of the past-a.k.a. Banana Bread squirrel. A squirrel that had literally gone “nuts” (sorry couldn’t resist) and tried to break through my kitchen window screen to steal a banana bread that I had cooling by the window.
This case was getting bigger, the suspect list longer. So I went undercover: PJs, coffee, cell phone camera, sunglasses…casually stalking the patio. Until one day, the crime went down…
Now this could be any squirrel of course, but it’s not. I know in my heart – it is Banana Bread squirrel. As I’ve said, we have a history.
So how to stop this tomato stealing crime? My research didn’t provide me with any answers I want to live with. Here are some: Get a cat, a Border Collie, make some hot pepper concoction, and cage the tomatoes in a chicken-wire prison.
It turns out I am an enabler, and I am just not that attached to my tomatoes. Yes, Banana Bread squirrel, you’ve won – this time. But wait, soon – very soon – I will be baking blueberry muffins (insert evil laugh:)