Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

When your squirrels get snarky

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

By Tiber

I went out on the balcony and I saw my sister, Iris Nell, pass by a big tree out in back.

Suddenly, she stopped, looked up into the branches and proceeded to have some sort of long, emotional conversation.

Later, when she came inside, she told me that she’d heard two squirrels arguing. So she’d stopped to see what the problem was.

They both seemed to her to be teenaged squirrels and one of them had a skinny tail. I’ve seen a grown skinny-tailed squirrel here before and decided that her mother must have had a memorable, drunken one-night-stand with a rat. Well, evidently, the rat gene lives on.

And now, Iris Nell was worried that maybe the other teenaged squirrel (who had a normal, full tail) was bullying the skinny-tailed teen squirrel.

So she stepped right in, yelling up into the branches to knock it the hell off…that bullying another rodent because of a physical difference is just plain wrong…that bullying can cause suicide… that squirrels are better than that.

And evidently the fight stopped. Iris Nell said the two antagonists then eyed each other in a new light and she felt strongly that if they’d had thumbs, they would have shaken hands.

Therefore, my sister felt she could continue her walk and return home.

I love my family and I’ve learned to just nod at whatever that say. But I have a strong feeling that everybody else on the planet who was taking the same walk at the same time would just have passed by and thought,

“Yep. There’s a tree.”

In April showers, Aunt April cowers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

By Tiber

As you know, we think there’s a runaway monkey from that nearby animal park loose somewhere in the house.

But my parents’ house covers about an acre and everybody has snacks stashed everywhere (why do you think I moved back in?) so the monkey’s never been in one place long enough to catch him.

Everyone agrees, though, that Aunt April probably saw him today.

Normally reclusive, she bolted out of her third-floor room, screaming.

Bo, one of the triplets, was coming up to ask me something and he was carrying his skateboard, when his great-aunt suddenly grabbed it and careened down the hall, riding the skateboard to get away as fast as she could, her long, white hair streaming out behind her.

She hit the main staircase and even though it’s a switchback, she kept riding that skateboard all the way down.

It’s going to be a lot harder now to keep the triplets from trying it, especially since Mom told them it wasn’t just banned but that it was impossible.

Evidently not.

No monkey turned up back in her bedroom, but as I always say, since it happens so rarely, it was nice to see Aunt April.

Monkey shines, monkey rubs, monkey bartends

Monday, April 18th, 2011

By Tiber

Well, there’s a monkey loose in our house. There’s one of those sentences you never expect to say.

If you’ve read the previous post, you know that people from the nearby animal park came by here because they’d had a monkey escape and someone thought she’d seen it scaling our wall.

No one in the house knew anything about it.

But then Mom had a martini left out for her (minus the olive) which Dad hadn’t made and Dad got a shoulder rub in his office that Mom hadn’t given. And it seemed pretty clear that a monkey was in here after all.

Some people would freak out so the animal park people leaped in to be reassuring.

But Dad just said, hell, if the monkey could make martinis and give shoulder rubs, he wanted him to move in full-time.

It turned out that Dad had made the martini for Mom. He’d just forgotten he’d started it when he heard noises in his office and had gone there to investigate. The shoulder rub? That may have been the monkey.

Dad said, hey, even without the martini-making, the monkey could stay on as a masseur.  The animal park people said it would probably be best if the monkey came back with them.

So we’re all on high alert.

I know that one night I’ll start having a dream about wearing a warm and comfy fur hat – but then it will suddenly pee on me and then I’ll wake up to find there’s a monkey relaxing and lounging on my head.

Is that a monkey in your pocket or-no, seriously, is that a monkey in your pocket?

Friday, April 15th, 2011

By Tiber 

As I’ve said before, Dad’s butler, Brunty, often forgets who’s really at the door so he’ll just announce anybody.

“Orville Wright has just arrived for you, sir.”

Last night, we thought Brunty had lost it even more when he located Dad and told him that this time, “the monkey people” had shown up. Oddly enough, in this case, he was right.

There’s an animal park not too far from here and one of their monkeys has gone missing. Someone on the street thought she’d seen a monkey scaling one of our walls so we were asked if anyone in the family had found him.

No. No monkeys here.

The animal park people were very nice and Mom joked, “unless a monkey left that martini out on the table for me a few minutes ago. My husband usually doesn’t forget the olive!”

Dad laughed along with everyone else until he suddenly braked and looked sort of perturbed.

“I never made you a martini, Gwen. I’ve been in my office enjoying the shoulder rub you were giving me.”


Crow que, anyone?

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

By Tiber

Is it crow mating season?

I noticed a big crow sitting up on a wire, surveying his territory below when a smaller, clearly female crow flew up and landed on the same wire about a foot away.

Since the male didn’t fly away, evidently the female took this as a signal to come on by.

Taking tiny, expert steps, like a tightrope walker, she sidled over right next to the male.

And then, it looked as if she started to groom him.

I know monkeys do this with their hands but birds obviously don’t have this advantage. The male crow still didn’t leave but he started getting more and more hunched over and tense the whole time the female was fixing him up.

I hope he was getting something out of it. Maybe he just liked the girl and was trying to be polite.

I kind of felt sorry for him. I’ve had a lot of crappy dates. And even though some of them wore stiletto heels, I will say this for them. Not one of them ever tried to comb my hair using her stiletto beak.

It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

By Tiber

That’s right, kids. It’s January 21st and that means it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day!


As you know, I like squirrels. Sometimes, I just stand outside, eating, and watch them. They, in turn, stand outside, eating, and watch me. It works out very well.

And as an added bonus for Squirrel Appreciation Day this year, I caught sight of “the squirrel who is missing a bushy tail!”

I hadn’t seen him in awhile and I was getting a little worried that maybe the others had run him off for being different. He has a tail. It’s just that it looks more like a piece of string.

We’ve all speculated about this. Kru thinks he sheared it off trying to get through a fence. Erin decided he has a fur problem, like severe dandruff. Ot “squirr-druff” or something.

I’m still standing by what I said before. I think this squirrel’s mom had a wild night out with a rat and she’s still not admitting it.

For all I know, she’s continuing to insist that, of course, she’s only been with squirrels, just like all the other girls!

…She did have a date once with a foreign squirrel. She thinks he might have been from Brazil. All she knows now is that her handsome son “looks just like him! Why, I’ve even heard him speaking Portuguese.“

Here’s looking at you, kid

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

 By Tiber

Awhile back, I read about a goat who got drunk.  But now, what the hell is going on in Germany?

First, the police had to take in a drunken badger, who’d been hitting the overripe cherries too hard.

And now, they’ve had to haul a drunken owl into the slammer.

You might have argued that the badger just stumbled on the cherries out in the wild but the owl was found with a couple of little bottles of Schnapps lying right next to it so, I say, these creatures are getting drunk deliberately!

The police released them once they’d sobered up but did anybody think to ask them why they’re getting hammered?


Had they recently broken up with a long-term badger or owl?

Or are they depressed about the economy? They could have recently lost their jobs. And frankly, badger and owl employment has to be sparse at best.

I can hear you saying that badger and owl employment is non-existent. Oh, really?

I had a boss once who told me that he thought an amoeba could perform my job better than I did.

So, things being relative, if an owl and a badger had then also applied for the position, he not only would have hired them, he would have given them paid vacation and full dental.

Hell Toad – Part II – Tales of Beelzebufo

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

I came across another mention of “hell toad,” a creature I’ve written about before. They’ve found fossil evidence that there once existed a hefty 10 lb. toad, with teeth, that even harassed the dinosaurs.

They’ve given it the name of “Beelzebufo” – combining “devil” with the Latin word for “toad.“

When I first heard about it, I was grateful that they’d gone extinct but now, I’m not so sure.

With the holidays over, I’m going to have to start looking for a job again. And, as we all know, my job interviews have not gone well.

But just think if I could bring along my own “Hell Toad!” I could take him in on, what do you think, a leash? Or just loose and unblinking on my shoulder? There are so many people applying for jobs these days, wouldn’t you remember me?

The prospective employer would realize that “Hell Toad” now knows where he works. Of course, if the guy hires you, you’d have to follow the company rules and not bring Beelzebufo in anymore. However, if you weren’t hired to work there…

I wish Michael Crichton was still here.

Mostly, I just want to be able to stare, also unblinking, at a boss and say,

“I’d like you to meet my toad…”