Dear Karen of Greenwalks –
I received your missive, dated November 3 of the previous year. I am appalled at your use of such offensive words as “annoying” and “infuriating” to describe my natural, instinctive food-seeking behavior, not to mention that you now “officially hate” me. And I will not even stoop to address your depiction of me as a germ-covered potential child-sickener.
I think it would be illustrative for you to consider what winter is like for myself and my ilk. Do you think we have cozy Craftsman houses such as your own to cuddle up and stay warm in during the wet and cold months? Oh dear me, no. A bundle of sticks if we’re lucky, and the warmth generated by our own bodies, is all we possess in the way of shelter and comfort.
You begrudge me the occasional tasty chard morsel (nota bene: I prefer white chard to your current selection of Bright Lights, which I find a bit gaudy for my refined visual sensibilities) or nibble on your daughter’s crudely carved Jack-o-Lanterns. I was merely “thinning” your seedlings and making a more expressionist take on what seemed to me to be rather prosaic designs on the pumpkins.
You mention my “million acorns” without having heard, I presume, of the acorn shortage that has inexplicably hit the Eastern US. I had to systematically, using my GPS, dig up and mail off all I could spare to my cousins on my mother’s side so that they would not starve this winter.
Then, after that irksome letter, you had had the nerve to cover your bulb plantings in a repulsive, stomach-turning concoction of boiled onion and pepper water, topped off with gag-inducing paprika. Really, that almost caused me to seek new feeding grounds. Almost… but then I decided to dig in for the winter and not let you have the last word. And so, I have been scratching this letter on a piece of cedar bark since before the snows came, letter by laborious letter (it’s not easy writing when you have no opposable thumbs, yet another thing you probably disdain me for!).
In closing, let me show you a few pictures from our family album from the past few months. See if it doesn’t pull on your heartstrings to see us out there, huddled against the wintry bleakness. If not, well, you must have no heart whatsoever.
Ignatius P. Squirrel (known to you, demeaningly, as “Dr. Destructo”)
PS Oh, I know you worked hard with your daughter on that peanut-butter-and-sesame-seed-covered pine cone. It was fun to take it right off your witch hazel tree, whole, before the birds even got a nibble. And even more fun with the two of you there on the other side of the window, watching with your mouths gaping open in shock and horror! Hee hee. It almost repaid you for that odious letter.
PPS You almost gave me a heart attack yesterday when you came up on the front porch so suddenly as I was nibbling away at a forgotten pumpkin. I had to fly right by you, only inches away, tail flailing! Truly humiliating. And that it happened again later in the day, well, it truly almost did me in. I would appreciate if you would be more careful next time and give much better notice of your arrival!