A Daring Young Squirrel
By Dean Worbois
I worked in stained glass for years, so my home is festooned with all sorts of handy devices made by soldering lead to hold together pieces of colored and clear glass. Included are lamps and candleholders, of course, but also a laundry detergent dispenser, incense holder, business card holder, bookends, and any number of other items. The glass devices don’t just stay inside. When I wanted a backyard bird feeder, I set to work designing, cutting, and soldering the perfect dispenser.
Anyone who feeds birds can anticipate the first problem I encountered when the feeder was added to my yard: short of resorting to a shotgun, how does one stop the squirrels from sucking up every sack of seed in the bird food store? Even worse than their appetites, the squirrels’ sharp claws shredded the solder that held my feeder together. Their claws couldn’t hold onto the slick glass, so they imbedded them between the glass and the solder. In this way, they were making quick work of sending the entire contraption to the dump.
Interestingly, it was the garbage collectors who saved my feeder from that fate. The galvanized lid of my garbage can found its way under the tires of their truck and instantly became flat as cardboard. Of course, it was useless for covering a can anymore, but after I cut a slit in the middle, it was perfect for hanging over the bird feeder. Right off, I observed the four-legged culprits heading for lunch, but to my delight, they began their confident climb down the chain to the feeder only to find their front claws on a wobbly flat sheet they could not get a grip on. Their back claws would not let go until their front claws had a firm hold.
It was hard to believe. Outwitting a squirrel? Pshaw, I hear you say.