A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.
- Sarah Jessica Parker
Once again, I have found, there are two kinds of people in the world.
There are those who think squirrels are gentle creatures who deserve our protection, and those who think squirrels are pests prone to destructive behavior.
"They're rodents!" more than 60 e-mailers, letter-writers, phone callers and an impromptu focus group made up of the Suburban Woman's Club, have told me in recent days.
The whole wildlife debate arose earlier this week when I described my effort at squirrel retaliation involving a slingshot and acorns.
My admission prompted an angry response from a woman named Pamela, who was shocked that such squirrel abuse would be tolerated. She also added criticism of my parenting techniques, my writing skills and our Southern region. She demanded an apology.
I threw the debate open to you, and you responded.
That's when I discovered most of you don't like squirrels.
Speaking for the majority, a woman named Judy wrote: "... she can pitch a tent in my front yard and stay until she has rescued every plum, pear, tomato (17 varieties), blueberry, bell pepper eating squirrel she can find!!!!!!!!!"
Virginia in Martinez wrote, "I love animals and have rescued some dogs and cats but I find it difficult to love a squirrel who tries to take over my property."
To be fair, however, there was a thoughtful minority, which didn't think it right to shoot acorns at squirrels.
Joe in Martinez wrote: "Was that God's purpose in creating squirrels or robins or snakes? For the amusement of people with too much time on their hands and too little kindness in their hearts."
And Betty in Evans suggested: "I think that you and your son both should have someone shoot both of you in the behind ... with either a slingshot with an acorn ... You really should be ashamed!!!"
This debate, I am sure, will rage on, and I confess I have placed my trusty slingshot on a shelf in the garage and gone on to other pursuits.
Not a change of heart, really; it's just that for some reason the squirrels haven't come near my house in days.
TODAY'S JOKE: There were three country churches in a small Southern town, and each seemed overrun with squirrels.
At the Baptist church the squirrels had made a nest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a top over it to trap them, but the clever squirrels soon escaped and continued to flourish.
The Catholic church heard about this effort and decided to humanely trap the squirrels and transport them several miles away. A few days later, however, the squirrels returned, pesky as ever.
The Methodist church decided on a different approach. They rounded up all the squirrels and baptized them.
Now they only come back on Christmas and Easter.
Read more of the e-mails and rants received by Bill Kirby on the subject of squirrels.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.