When I pass under the overhang of my covered porch, a curious noise chirps from above. At first I thought it could be a bird, a pack of birds maybe, but it was winter; don’t birds fly away in winter? I move closer to the noise. The roof covering my porch has more than a few holes in it. I’ve tried to tell my husband to fix them, cover them, but he never does. Someday it will fall apart. Fall down. Hit someone over the head—hopefully my husband. Until then I have to put up with the holes, the various state of disrepair, and wait for it to collapse.
It’s not a pack of birds chirping. It’s not even one bird chirping. I think it’s squirrel in the roof. And it sounds upset. I place my groceries down and try to get a better look. It is a squirrel. It found a nice place to live, on the side of my roof, away from the elements.
I wonder how long it’s been there? Months? Years? Does it have babies? A squirrel mate? Either way it’s chewed a hole and set up shop above my porch. For some reason its become quiet outside. Very quiet. Usually cars drive by or someone closes a door, but right now, beneath a cloudless blue sky, the crisp chirp and rattle of a squirrel echoes through my neighborhood.
I move closer to the gnawed hole. The squirrel must have seen me move close because it poked its head out of the opening. It’s really upset now. I can see its teeth and small black eyes and I wouldn’t be surprised if it jumped out and attacked me. That’s what I would do if I was the squirrel. I would yell and scream and threaten anyone that comes near me. I would poke my head out of my home, show my teeth, and grin. If that didn’t scare off an intruder, I would jump down, fly out, and attack an intruder.
Maybe the squirrel has babies inside of the hole. Maybe the squirrel has other homes that have been taken, uprooted, destroyed by a predator, an intruder. For that reason I would protect what’s mine, and chirp until my voice was gone. But I’m not the squirrel. I’m the intruder. I have a home. I have groceries. Maybe I’ll leave the squirrel alone, and let the roof fall down, and not tell my husband about the squirrels in the roof.