Tag Archives: squirrels

A Tale of a Backgammon Case and a Squirrel



The squirrel in the picture above is an old timer in my yard I call Kiri. He broke his tail last week and he can’t sit up for more than a minute before he just falls over. So he spends a lot of time on his side eating  a peanut or a piece of bread. He is getting a lot better, and from what I read his tail will break off soon which is a natural thing. But it made me remember this funny story.


Eighteen years ago yesterday, I remember the death of a favourite black squirrel  who chose to pass away in our yard. My son Perry insisted this squirrel needed a proper burial. His grandfather, Nono, sensing  bacteria, and maybe a  future tetanus shot, suggested that instead of a funeral procession, it might be better to bury him. So Perry and Nono buried the squirrel and fashioned a makeshift cross for his grave. Nono made the sign of the cross and considered the whole  episode a done deal. One hour later he saw Perry trying to avoid him; carrying a small box.

It couldn’t be.

But it was.

There lying in  the bottom of the box was the deceased black squirrel. Perry had waited until his grandfather busied himself with something else and had dug him up. Nono firmly took the box away from him and told him to go into the house. When all was clear he buried the dead squirrel once again, and this time there was no grave marker. That should take care of it he thought.

What he did not know was that Perry was watching him carefully through the window, and knew exactly where his grandfather had laid the squirrel to rest for the second time. Apparently, he had already figured out his next move. It was a move that would baffle the mind for years to come. Perry used to carry a backgammon case around everywhere with him. He put all  his treasures in there, and literally took it to bed with him at night.


That night when his Father and I got home from work we were never advised of the day’s proceedings. Perry and his brother were outside playing, and we settled in to have a quiet meal. As we took our first bite, Perry came into the kitchen with a smile from ear to ear.

“I have something to show you Mum”, he said.

I grinned, and encouraged him to show us the treasures he had in his backgammon case. He began to laugh like he had a million bucks in there, and flung open the backgammon case and screamed,

“Da Da!”

All we needed to see was the hint of black fur, and we both screamed in horror. There lying inside the case was the very dead, now getting a little smelly, black squirrel. His father immediately grabbed his dinner plate and ran out of the room in horror. It was almost like he sensed that Perry might serve  him up for dinner. His grandfather came running in, and quickly took everything  away from him. The case was then emptied into a box, and then loaded up in the pick up truck . It was then buried so many miles away Perry would have had to rent a tracking dog to find it.

To this day, this is one of Perry’s favourite stories to tell. He now has replaced the backgammon case with fast cars, construction machinery, and a wife. No word yet whether his daughter Sophia will take up her father’s hobbies.

Squirrel Massacre in Bennie’s Corners —-Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!



Not for the Squeamish!

A Bennie’s Corners story of 1875 may be recalled as the telling of a recognized sport in some circles of Lanark County. In those times, it was known as a squirrel hunt and featuring a reckless slaughter of the birds and animals of the summer woods.  An Almonte newspaper report told of the hunt on this occasion:

On Friday the 25th a squirrel hunt took place at Bennie’s Corners, and they came far and wide.  Eighteen competitors were chosen on each side, with Messrs. John Snedden and Robert McKenzie acting as captains.  In squirrel hunts, squirrels are not the only animals killed, but every furred and feathered denizen of the forest, each having a certain value attached.  The count runs as follows : squirrel 1, chip munk 2, wood pecker 2, ground hog 3, crow 3, blackbird 1, skunk 5, fox 50, etc.

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At the conclusion of the contest the game killed by both sides amounted to over 2,500.  Mr. James Cochrane bagged 164 squirrels, being the highest individual score, and Mr. Andrew Cochran came next.  The affair wound up with a dance at the residence of Mr. James Snedden.

They danced? What do you mean they danced? After killing 2,500 animals? I have only one thing to say.


Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Actually I Train Woodpeckers for Search and Rescue!


Now that Spring has sprung I am reminded about the day a former neighbour complained about my squirrel collection. I love to feed the black squirrels that gather in my yard and she became convinced I had trained several ninja squirrels to enter her garden after dark and tear up her budding flowers.

Instead of arguing I jokingly told her I had trained some beavers to do some pretty good tricks, but squirrels were a lot harder to educate. I also reminded her that squirrels were simply polished yard rats that are going to dig up flowers anytime they want and there are countless documentaries on a squirrels perseverance to conquer a bird feeder or outwit a cat.

The angry neighbour did not give up and insisted I had trained the squirrels to wait until it grew dark to do their damage. Well – unless it was a flying squirrel with a friend named Bullwinkle, that would be just about impossible. Laughing, I told her that it was probably a leftover squirrel recruitment from the government’s top secret ‘Squirrel Lethalization Program’ to train squirrels to be assassins, but they still had not mastered running back and forth safely in front of cars.

Weeks later she insisted there were tiny scratches on her windows, disappearing bird food in the feeder, and her garbage cans were tipped over in the night. Had anyone even questioned the squirrels she asked? Have you ever tried to interrogate a squirrel I replied? They never provide a straight answer, always bounding all over the place.

So in retaliation my neighbor began to train her cat to poop and pee on my property and sometimes I saw the feline driving her car around the neighborhood watching me. To top it off I think she actually persuaded a random local raccoon to tear up my garbage.

Finally she insisted I must do something about the problem or she would call animal control. Was there a training manual for squirrels I asked? This whole story began to sound a little squirrely to me so I attempted to train a squadron of local birds to defile her windshield when her cat drove by- who was now trained to steal my mail.

Finally the irritated neighbour moved away and there were no more thoughts until I remembered this story today. Actually I’m dictating these comments to an earthworm who sits on my keyboard and types it in for me. It’s slow-going, but we get there eventually.

Absolutely true story except the cat- he was a slow learner. The earthworm is currently a project in motion.