Posts Tagged ‘squirrels’

He’s Baaaaack!

Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel

photo: jim mccormac

Some months ago, we had a squirrel who caused some havoc in our library building. We called him Mr. Squirrel. Well, he’s baaaaack! Apparently, it wasn’t goodbye, but “hasta la vista, baby.”

Our first hint was a lot of noise in the ceiling over the circulation desk. It was hard to tell. Had he set up quarters up there and busily loading up the larder or, maybe, and this is still a possibility, was Mr. Squirrel really a Mrs?

But, within a few days, the scurrying diminished and we figured, Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel had found a better place to hunker down for the hot weather on its way.

Then, a few days ago, one of our regular patrons tapped on the window and waved us outside. Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel was stuck in a vertical drain pipe. The customer, one of the “boys” who hangs out all day at the branch on the computers, said he heard lots of scrambling and scratching and projected panic in the pipe.

Once again, we turned over this problem to a higher authority: administration and/or animal control.

While one librarian called Al, our facilities manager, I called animal control. That was an interesting conversation. It was almost as bad as calling emergency.

“Are you sure it’s a squirrel?”

“Well, no, not exactly. Sounds like a squirrel.”

“Where is it exactly?” (Notice, animal control wasn’t making sex assumptions.)

“In a drainpipe.”

“Where is the drainpipe?”

“Uh… outside the building, kinda goes up and down along the side of the building.”


“Uh, at the side of the building?”

“Can you reach it standing up?”


“Can you reach the pipe standing up?”

“Uh… yeah, it goes from the roof down into the ground. So, you can reach as high up as you are tall. I guess. Does that completely answer your question?”

At the moment, I was saved. Gary, our delivery driver (super star savior for all things mechanical), showed up. I told the animal control person I’d call her back if Gary couldn’t handle it.

Good ole Gary did the trick. He got the pipe separated from the lower plastic pipe. Of course, we thought Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel would leap out immediately. Not so. Apparently, it was a privacy issue.

We left the pipe open and our customer informed us later that Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel made a safe escape some fifteen minutes later.

By the way, in case you’re wondering. When Administration called animal control (they, too, decided to opt for a higher power), they were told that animal control no longer comes out for animals who are having problems outside a building. Instead, we would have to hire a professional to come out and tackle the issue. They provided us with a list of wranglers. That’s right, wranglers.

So, the next time, Mr/Mrs/Ms Squirrel makes a death-defying plunge down the drainpipe, we may have to call a squirrel wrangler. They got ’em in Michigan (so they must be in Maryland even if they’re not advertising yet) and another internet search produces, not only a website, but an 888 number (I wonder if they charge for travel). Please note, however, they do not wrangle dogs or cats.


Mr. Squirrel

This all happened within a few weeks of my becoming a Branch Manager. First of all, I got a late night call from the police that the security alarm had gone off. I asked the policeman to meet me there and “check it out.” Nothing. All was quiet.

The next morning however, I arrived to find books scattered all over the floor, posters knocked over and a general bit of chaos in the children’s department. The mystery was solved when one of our Pages yelped and there, across the tops of the self-help books, was a scampering squirrel.

Naturally, he was more terrified than we were, well, except for the Page who kept running the opposite way from Mr. Squirrel’s sprints through the shelves.

So, we did the really brave thing: we called Animal Control. Actually, I felt pretty stupid, “Excuse me, can you send a van, we have a squirrel racing through the biographies.”

While we waited for the “professionals,” we did manage to corral him into the “quiet room” (also known as the magazine room) and closed the door, just in time for our public at 10 a.m. Our building is pretty old, so we actually have windows that open. So, we opened one of the windows in the quiet room and made a trail of treats to the open window, hoping for the best. We left him alone in there to gather his thoughts (and maybe his nerve).

After 30 minutes or so, I decided to keep him company. Finally, he took to the cheese trail (ok, no one had peanuts) and the next thing I knew he hopped onto the window sill and started out, but not before turning back to get the last chunk of cheese. Wise squirrel.

Oh, animal control? That’s about the time they showed up of course. And as to how he got in? We’re pretty sure he dropped through a vent in the ceiling, but we’ll never know for sure.