I’m not big on animals at night. The creature who only comes out after the sun is down is up to no good. Like porcupines and coyotes and bats. And quiet, too. They sneak up on your like the super stud at the local bar. You’re sitting there minding your own business when…bam! Something scary is sitting next to you offering to buy you a drink but then you find out he’s broke, has no home and only showers weekly. Because he’s into the saving the environment.
Take my neighbors who feed raccoons. Please…take them. We now have a three-legged Mom and seven cubs roaming the yard. Cute? Yes. Sneaky? Yes. Walking up to me looking for food while I sit on the deck? Nightly.
Plus, things always look bigger in the dark. And usually that’s okay. That’s why I don’t make love to the Mister with the lights on. I like to be surprised.
But the last few nights I’ve had to rethink my thinking on those night prowlers.
We have a family of flying squirrels in the ‘hood.
Sitting outside Monday evening with a martini just after the sun went down and dreaming of winning the lottery, I saw something fly across the yard out of the corner of my eye. There was a dull thump…then another. As a flying squirrel landed on one of the bird feeders. Munch, munch, munch. Then a leap and back to the tree. Then another one arrived and in very atypical squirrel fashion, they clung to each other making little squeaking noises (they could have been getting a little down low tingle but I didn’t want to get close enough to check because I respect the privacy of all creatures.)
Over the next two nights, I had the best seat in the house to witness the miracle of excess skin flaps. Like teenagers who wear their jeans too tight with their little muffin tops puffed out over their belts, these two squirrels used what Momma gave them and treated me to a show of acrobatic mastery.
They didn’t just fly. They soared. One hundred feet or more. It was amazing. Last night one made it to the deck, ran past me and leaped into the trees. I think it was a hint the feeder was empty.
As long as they don’t sidle up beside me one night looking to dip into my vodka stash, this is one night dweller I can live with.