Tuesday morning, movement in the dooryard caught my eye. I stared, dumbfounded, as a red squirrel ran across the yard with a large black rectangle attached to its face.
The squirrel, carrying one of our plastic mouse traps in its teeth, ran pell mell for the darkness under the cabin.
The subject of body cams comes up in the news often these days. I’d love to wear something like that so that we could document some of the weird things that happen around here. I had no time to grab a camera, instead we tore outside to scare the squirrel into dropping the trap before it disappeared.
We’d set the trap, one of those black plastic clothespin types (with the silly Swiss cheese shaped trip plate) along with a few others around a hole in the rock edge of our flower garden. We’re hoping to trap the mouse that emerges from there to decimate our nagoon berry plants (see Nagoon Berries in Bloom). This particular trap had been tethered to a large nail, which we pressed into the earth. The squirrel clearly worked the nail free before absconding with our trap.
We have no earthly idea why the squirrel would want the trap! It might make sense if there had been a dead mouse or vole in the trap. Squirrels do supplement their diet with occasional meat, usually baby birds, so stealing a full trap might make sense, but an empty one? It can’t be useful to it for nesting, as reemay might be (see Reemay: Gotta Have It!). We’ve never known squirrels to show any packrat tendencies. We don’t seem to lose any other small objects around the ” homestead.”
Although, Michelle reports that these traps go missing fairly regularly. Until now, she’d assumed that ravens carried them off when they scavenge the rodents caught in them. Perhaps the squirrels have been stealing them all along?
A lot goes on around here that completely baffles us. Now we have a new mystery to ponder.