EDITOR’S COLUMN | New neighbor thinks he owns the place

I’ve got a new neighbor, and I admit I don’t like him. He’s loud, rude and spends way to much time looking in my bedroom window.

Squirrels — they think they own the world. This one seems convinced he owns the tree just a few feet from where I sleep. Apparently he thinks that I’m the trespasser, or at least that’s what it appears. He only speaks “Chirp,” a language that consist entirely of a single word which is repeated over and over for impressively long periods of time, so we’ve had trouble communicating.

It all started a few days ago when he introduced himself to the neighborhood. That was sometime around 6 a.m. I caught his name, “Chirp,” but couldn’t make out much more. Whatever the case, I politely suggested he pipe down. He seemed to disagree, but eventually shut up and disappeared. At least, that is, until Monday morning.

It appears he’d chewed over our first exchange and come to the conclusion that I was an undesirable and elected to let me know. Again, 6 a.m. appears to be his preferred time for communication.

This time, I really let him have it. I told him to beat it with hisses, claps and barks but nothing worked. The little devil stood his ground/tree, chirping back at me from his post not three feet from my window. My shenanigans did nothing but spur momentary retreats — he’d vanish around one side of the tree only to reappear a second later on the other and resume his verbal assault.

Little creep.

Indeed, staring into those beady little eyes I saw nothing but determined resolve. Even Spock, my blue heeler, seemed to recognize it was hopeless and hopped off the bed and retreated to quieter corners of the house. I fought on a few moments, of course, but in a rare moment of humility I accepted defeat and closed the window. I gave silent thanks to the creators of double-paned glass as Chirp carried on for another 20 minutes.

But, now that I’ve had a chance to do some of my own reflection, it’s occurred to me that maybe I have this all wrong. Perhaps Chirp wasn’t announcing my eviction notice at all, but rather was trying to tell me something important. That wouldn’t be so unusual; one of the cool things about being a newspaper editor is that I get lots of free advice. So maybe he was trying to suggest who he thinks should be the next District 1 county commissioner, that he supports or opposes pot farms or that he recognizes that Donald Trump is one of the greatest threats to American ideals and civil liberties ever to face our great country.

Then again, he was probably just being a squirrel.