My neighbour is a delightful old Jamaican gentleman. Well I say neighbour but he is not actually a next door neighbour but more or less lives at the bottom of my garden! O.K not really at the bottom of my garden like a leprechaun but his garden reaches the end of mine sideways on, so we only really see each other when we are out there, mainly at weekends.
I hear him often, he is a musician, a jazz musician and has travelled the world making music. Ill health has brought him back to be based in Hackney but he still makes music now and again in a few local clubs. He sings a lot in his house at all hours of the day and night and belts out an amazing version of ‘No Woman No Cry’. Oh and yes it was a mistake for me to say I loved that song, the repeats went on for about 3 days!
Max is trying to grow vegetables, but is battling with the squirrels. We have endless discussions on how to get rid of these pests. I have suggested a shot-gun but Max is far more mellow and doesn’t like the idea of killing them.
I had a couple of those infra-red, high-pitched noise deterrents that are supposed to scare off animals so gave him one to try but they weren’t terribly successful with the squirrels. Max was getting very frustrated as these pests were getting through all types of netting structures he had created and were destroying his precious plants.
Eventually he bought a trap, I was still voting for the shot-gun but he said no and anyway I probably meant an air rifle! So that was me put in my place, what do I know!
I hadn’t seen him for over a week until this morning, he was very excited to see me. At last success, he had caught a squirrel. Now this is where the boundaries of credibility merge, I can only tell it like it happened.
I asked him what he had then done with it, being a bit worried that a dead squirrel might encourage our local fox population!
But no Max doesn’t like killing, so he sat down and talked to it!
Yes that’s right, he sat down and explained to the squirrel that we all had to live together and if only the squirrel would allow his plants to flourish he would then share the harvest with it and we would all be happy. The squirrel would then benefit from better quality food than just a few mere seedlings.
Now it seems Max wasnt convinced the squirrel was listening so he repeated this lecture 5 times a day for 3 days. I was trying very hard to keep a straight face, Max was deadly serious and showed me the cage and remains of fruit he had been giving the squirrel while he lectured it.
He explained that after three days he told the squirrel to go and tell his friends to leave his garden alone and then come back in a few months to share the produce.
Please don’t laugh but I have been in the garden all morning and havent seen a squirrel yet! So I hope he told them to stay out of my garden too.
How do you cope with these pests, I would be interested to know.Rosanne x