hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


October 4, 2012

Unwanted dinner guest feels at home

Guess who came to dinner?

It wasn’t my Aunt Shooshan. She passed away many moons ago and we miss her dearly, especially the rhubarb pie she prepared so tastefully.

Nor was it my Uncle Toros. Good thing, too. He was the family vagabond and used to eat us out of house and home every time he barged in — which was more often than not.

Never mind the ants, spiders and mice from time to time. I’m always getting those critters at my camp. When you live in the woods, no telling who might drop by, whether they’re invited or not.

We’ve always maintained an open-door policy around here. If it walks or crawls, the welcome sign is up. But we have one standing rule. When you dine, please leave the premises the same way you find them.

Apparently, one rascal couldn’t read signs and made himself at home just the same.

There we were, minding our own business in the living room when all of a sudden, a varmint scampered by. I didn’t notice it. My eagle-eyed wife did.

“Did you see that?” she screamed. “There’s a chipmunk in this house and I want him out of here immediately.”

Folks, next to a renegade squirrel, the most elusive critter has to be a chipmunk. You can lay out mouse traps for a rodent. You can swat flies and hornets that invade your company. I’ve even coaxed a duck out the door.

True story. I left the back door open one day and a mallard left the water, negotiated my steps and walked through the door. I thought it was a mechanical imposter the neighbor “pranked” upon me, until the critter quacked himself silly.

I have yet to encounter a moose in my friendly abode. And the furthest any skunk has ever come to my insides is the yard. The further, the better with this creature.

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