I grew up mostly in Chicago, where we always lived in big, old apartment buildings. Inevitably, we lived on the top floor, which was usually the third floor. As a kid, this was not a problem. In my childhood opinion, it actually gave a nice overall view of the neighborhood and skyline. This was good for watching out for both friends and storms.
One apartment that we lived in had a fairly decent back yard. In the center of the big, cement yard was one huge tree. The adjoining alley was wide enough to play ball. The stairs going up to the apartments were solid wood and very safe. Each apartment also had its own individual secure porch, with a screen door and a heavy wooden door.
In the Springtime of my tenth year I noticed a couple of squirrels playing on the porch and stairs outside my old back door. They would come and go, jumping from the porch rail up to the rafters of the building. They seemed to be going into the vents or attic area. This went on for days. I was so taken with them that I gave them names: Peanut was the light one, and Walnut was the dark one.
After a couple of weeks, Peanut seemed to be on the porch all of the time. Walnut seemed to visit only occasionally. It was then that we heard squeaks and squeals coming from the rafters. About this time, I had figured out that Peanut was a female and Walnut was a male. It became obvious that Peanut had babies up under the roof.
As I ate my meals, I watched Peanut through the worn out screen door. Peanut would often watch me back from her place on the porch rail. This really worried me, as we were on the third floor. I was afraid she would fall off, which would be disastrous. And what would happen to her babies? I often checked the back yard to make sure there were no squirrels laying there on the cement. I dreaded having to conduct a squirrel funeral, though it wouldn’t be my first (or last) critter funeral.
Every day, I put out food for Peanut. Sometimes I put out cereal or bread, but sometimes I put out popcorn, nuts, or fruit. Her favoutite was definitely peanuts! She would eat her fill, and then carry food, bit by bit, up to her hole in the rafters. This went on for several weeks.
Early one evening, I headed down the long hallway from the front room to the kitchen. I noticed shadows moving around in the light from the open back door. Sure enough, as I approached the kitchen there was movement, and rustling sounds in the kitchen. I was a little apprehensive, until I saw it was Peanut! She was apparently foraging for food. I realized that she must have gotten in through the hole near the handle in the screen door! I talked softly to her until she got her bearings and exited the same way she came in.
My mother immediately took it up with the landlord that our screen door was still in disrepair from before we moved in, well over a year ago. She never mentioned Peanut, though.
He did finally repair the screen. Peanut never got in again, either. She did raise her babies on and around the porch, high above the cement yard, though. However, much to my relief, I never had any squirrel funerals there.
Linked to: BYG Adventures
Word Prompt: Screen