Monsieur Squirrel

My adrenaline is still pumping. I’m afraid to put my ear buds back in to continue with my French lesson since I want to be able to hear what is going on in the house.

So, here I come, up the basement stairs after tossing in a load of wash (all nicely sorted, and shouted-out, and all the dispensers filled with their appropriate liquids), and I’m practicing the phrase “I don’t understand French” (Je ne comprends pas Français!) over and over because it’s the only thing I’m sure of with the French lessons, that I don’t understand French, and I continue up to my second story loft/office and who is sitting atop the file cabinet but Monsieur Squirrel! 

I dub him Monsieur Squirrel, affectionately, hoping that he is but a scared, out-of-touch, senile old rodent who has wandered in, through an opening we have yet to discover, and once in can’t figure out how to get back out. This isn’t the first time M. Squirrel has gifted us with an appearance. He once showed up in the basement which is a lot harder to get him out of actually, so I guess I can be grateful I found him upstairs.

God. I’m a grown woman and I’m this afraid of something that probably weighs less than one pound? He doesn’t like me either, and runs into a bedroom. I flail around in the hallway, running this way and that, to and fro, trying to decide what to do. If I go downstairs, I’m not sure I’ll have the courage to come back up.

But wait. He’s more afraid of me than I am of him. And then I think holy shit, then he must be fairly well paralyzed with fear. I know he wants to get out of here as much as I want him out, so let’s work together on this. Coaxing isn’t going to work because I’m pretty sure he won’t respond to sweet talk, and I don’t understand Squirrel so a bit of tough love is necessary. Shouting and stomping and scaring the literal crap out of M. Squirrel, so that he and I can reach an agreement and I can be where I want to be (without him) and he can be where he wants to be (with his squirrel buddies, maybe there’s even a Madame Squirrel).

I am afraid if I go downstairs I’ll never have the guts to come back up, knowing he is up here.

But I go downstairs. I open the back door and the front door wide, so he can get out, and venture back upstairs, heart pounding and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs so he’ll be sure to hear me. When I come back up, I decide to open a window in the master bedroom and remove the screen so he has another escape route.  

Gah! As I enter the room I see him dart under the bed! He has now relocated to my bedroom! I vacate the premises and return to the loft and shout. Get out! I see him (thankfully) run out of the bedroom down the stairs to the first floor, but he (duh, M. Squirrel!) completely misses the fact that he’s run right by the open front door.

I chase him around the living room and it works, or at least gets him into the kitchen where there is another opened door. But he (again) ignores his escape to freedom and decides instead to run along the counter and hop onto the computer desk and then bash into a closed window before he leaps up onto the bar. He plops down from there  to the floor and casually strolls outside. I watch him go and have never been so glad to get rid of a houseguest in my life.

But now I’m still kind of spacey and uncertain about it and I’m thinking, what if he comes back? What if he decides he likes it in here? What if he really is old and senile and looks at this as a nice rest home? A place to spend his golden squirrel years?  

I can no longer concentrate on Lesson 4 of The Pimsleur Approach, Quick and Simple French – there’s nothing quick and simple about French, I’m here to tell you – because now I’m sure there must be a whole Squirrel family in residence. It could be a regular Squirrel Sta-cation for all I know.

Thinking that I might return to some level of normalcy later, I postpone French Lesson 4, but vow to take it up this afternoon, when my heart rate has returned to normal. The French lessons are because I’m leaving for Europe in a few days for a month (London / Paris / Rome), so I’m reading Rick Steves books and attempting to learn some French, since I suspect French people will be nicer to you if you at least attempt to speak their language.  I’ve heard that the French don’t like us Américain(e) much, but then I’ve also heard that isn’t true. Not knowing what to expect, I thought I’d at least try learning enough French to convince them that, though I may be a vile and vulgar Américain, I at least cared enough to learn sufficient French to convince les Français of my stupidity and complete ineptitude with their language.

I will be posting reviews of books for the next five weeks, as I’m not sure what kind of blogging I’m going to be able to do whilst over there, across the pond. These are all good books that readers of this blog might enjoy, and were originally posted at another blog site, Boomers and Books.

While we are gone, I hope Monsieur Squirrel doesn’t decide to take up permanent residence here.

Au revoir!

 Images courtesy of

17 thoughts on “Monsieur Squirrel

  1. hi Lynn,
    At least you didn’t try to wack him with a broom, haha.
    I congratulate you with your new novel. Would you like me to review it in exchange for a review on my book? Would love to do that. let me know and I will send you a copy in exchange for yours..

    • Wouldn’t have been able to get close enough to be able to wack him, I don’t think. I’m was just glad I could chase him out. Would like to swap reviews. I can send mine in Kindle version, will that work for you?

  2. How exciting! (The leaving for Europe part, not the squirrel in the house part, though I suspect that’s a different kind of excitement all unto itself. 🙂 ) I’ve never understood why people say the French are snooty or don’t like us. I never experienced that when I worked as an Au Pair in Paris years ago or in any of my visits since. Bon voyage! (And thanks for a good laugh with the squirrel story. 🙂 )

    • I have heard the French feel that we are a little arrogant to assume we can just come into their country and expect everyone to speak English, while not even attempting their language. We’ll see. I am excited, yet strangely, apprehensive about this upcoming adventure!

  3. We have some squirrels that run around the neighbourhood along the power lines, and sometimes across our fence. Thankfully that is as near as they get. We did have an annoying possum that used to eat from our Orange tree (that part was ok), but crap on our lawn (that part not). However when we returned from being away last weekend, there was a dead possum in the road not too far from the house. I don’t believe there have been any Possum visits since. Oh well…

    Have a nice holiday. In my experience the French are a little better if you attempt some of the language, as they mostly appreciate the effort. I’ve always taken a small phrase book.

    • I keep thinking he would have left a calling card or two but I can’t seem to find anything. Gak! He doesn’t belong here, there is just something so gross about it!

      I will attempt the French language (not sure I will even need to but just in case) – I can say a few things like, “I understand English” and “I am American” blah blah. Mostly I’ll probably just smile and look hopeful.

      • Well so long as you can say hello, goodbye, please and thank you, I think you will be along the right lines. I suspect they will be able to tell by your accent / word pronunciation that you are not a french speaker (I was reliably informed before I went).

  4. OMG, am wiping tears from my eyes just picturing your ‘squirrelbuster’ episode!! Another superb blog! Have a great time in Europe – you need to come up for the Adirondack mini-GTE so we can hear all about it!

    • Ah, yes. Squirrel buster. Call me for your squirrel removal needs! I was thinking about the Squirrel Whisperer, but I wasn’t exactly whispering I’m afraid. I hope I have a great time in Europe. I am sure we will.

  5. Very clever writing–loved it. Sounds like you were much braver than we were when we had that bat on Dartmouth Street. Remember how we hid in the bathroom until somebody’s boyfriend chased him out (was it Scott)? I’m impressed at your efforts to learn French– have you already mastered Italian?

    • Thanks, glad you liked my squirrel story. Right after it happened I thought, I should write about this right now, so I did.

      Oh, the bat. I had forgotten about that. Ecch. I think I’d be more afraid if it were a bat. I didn’t feel as if I had any choice. Had to woman-up to the squirrel situation.

      No, I haven’t mastered Italian. In hindsight, it would have been more worth my time to attempt that instead of French. I find French quite difficult. I will rely on the good naturedness of the Italians. We have those little phrase books to use.

  6. Lynn, thank you for the laugh, even though it was on your account;) I have to admit I was a nervous wreck right along with you, for although I don’t normally fear squirrels, it’s a totally different game when one enters your home.

    I’m also a bit jealous of your upcoming vacation. A month in Europe! Ooo la la!

    Have a blast and thanks for the chuckle!

    • Right, squirrels are fun to watch in the proper environment. When you see something that large in your home, it’s quite scary.

      This is kind of the Trip of a Lifetime. I have never been out of the country (except for the Caribbean a couple of times) so I am very excited — yet at the same time, apprehensive — about it.

  7. Remember: the French are more afraid of you than you are of them.

    Also, when you return from France, you will have mastered a bit more of the language. So, trying speaking French to M. Squirrel. If it’s not his native language, he’ll at least be thrown off guard enough that you’ll have some advantage.

    Have a lovely trip, sans squirrel.

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