And climb the stairs to the beach...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Morning Folks 1/28/06 Don't worry. I am

I want to let you all know that I am okay. But here is my story.

Last Thursday night I arrived home about 9:30 after a very long day at work followed by a Finance Committee meeting. As I ascended the stairs there at the first landing I found a vase which had contained dried eucalyptus branches lying on the floor, its contents scattered. As I cautiously continued up the stairs, I noted the living room television was still there, so I probably didn't have a burglar, but the TV wasn't worth much, so I was not certain, really. Then as I reached the dining room I noticed items from a top shelf were on the floor, a mug the napkins still in their holder, a basket. It was as if someone had swept them from their shelf in one fell swoop, almost deliberately making a mess and enjoying it. There were other things out of place as well: some candles on the piano and a picture on a shelf. I though earthquake? Poltergeist? I noticed the back door was unlocked, closed, but not locked. Maybe just vandals but they might still be in my house. Or, even worse, maybe a murderer rapist lurking behind a door in another room in the darkened house ready to spring out at me. My cell phone was in the bedroom, having accidently left it at home that morning on the nightstand next to my cordless phone. I armed myself with my letter opener and began to move toward the phone in my bedroom. The hallway seemed undisturbed. Passing by the hall closet, I decided not to check in there until I had my phone. The bathroom looked fine, undisturbed, although the shower curtain seemed slightly awry. I entered my pitch dark bedroom and reached to turn on the lamp on the bureau. As I did that, I caught a glimpse of movement and realized that I was not alone.

Terrified, I let out a scream and slammed the door shut behind me. I ran to the kitchen to call the Police. In 2 rings they answered. "Hudson Police, this line is recorded. What is the nature of your call?" " Hello. My name is Sue Petersen. I live at XXXXXX Street and there is a squirrel in my bedroom!!!"

I can't tell you I was relieved that it was a squirrel and not a murderer, although, a reasonable person would of course think that. But until you have been held hostage in your own home by a fast moving, madly unpredictably jumping possibly rabid rodent, you should reserve judgement.

Animal Control returned my call after the female dispatcher from the Police Department, who took my call very seriously knowing that I was in danger, contacted her. Animal Control informed me that they were not allowed to enter the home and I should call a private professional. So I called the man who removes dead animals from our streets and rabid raccoons from chimneys in Sudbury where I work. His name is Dave. I had never met him, but I would become very close to him as the story unfolded. He answered the phone and listened to my plight. He told me that he wouldn't come out that night, but he would stay on the phone with me as long as I needed him to and that he would talk me through the process of eliminating the vermine from my bedroom.

"First," he said "you are going to go into the bedroom with attitude. Open the door with determination, walk in, shutting the door immediately behind you and then walk directly to your window and open it wide. When he realizes there is a way out, he will take it. But you have to be there to see him leave or you won't know for sure and you will not be able to sleep until he is gone."

"I can't go in there again!" said I. "Oh yes you can and you will." said he. "I will be here on the phone the whole time." Dave said to me in a comforting tone. "But that window really sticks." I said. "You are going to have to get it opened", he responded. And so, having exchanged letter opener for broom, I took a deep breath and began the battle royale. An hour and a half later after trying to flush him out with the broom and repeatedly being terrified as he madly dashed around me, behind me, in front of me from under the bed to under the bureau and back again, Dave admitted it was time to call it a night. It had been the most terrifying hour and a half of my life and I was glad to be putting up my broom for the night. Dave had been on the phone with me the entire time. He advised me to close the window and lock the varmint in for the night and go to sleep in the guest room. I was to go back in there the next morning while I got ready for work and then open the window again. Most likely he will be ready to leave. Dave wanted me to call him to let him know what happened.

My schedule was such that I had an extremely important meeting the next morning at 8:00 that I could not miss. So before I retired for the night, I called my son Bill and asked him to come over to help me after my meeting if I was unable to remove the squirrel before I left for work. "Sure.", said Bill, my brave young son.

My clothes were in my bedroom so in the morning I put on the only thing I had in the spare bedroom: Ed's big brown plaid fleece bathrobe and my boots. I got my broom and the phone, in case I got trapped in there and screwed up my courage and once again entered the room. But, there was no sign of him. I was beginning to wonder if he had left when I wasnt looking last night. I had been distracted once or twice while looking under the bed or bureau. With my broom in one hand, the phone in my pocket. I gingerly reached in my drawers and retrieve underwear, and other necessities for the day. I got dressed in the kitchen, as far away from the bedroom as I could get and went to my meeting.

When I got home, I bravely went back into the room, opened the window and stood against the door in the corner and waited. Nothing. But still, I needed Bill to help me move everything around to double check and make sure that he had left.

When Bill arrived, I got him a second broom and with new conviction and Bill's help, entered the room again. Bill bravely went right to task and looked under the bed. Nothing. Under the bureau. Nothing. But he looked down behind the bureau and jumped back with a shout. "I think I saw something" he said. "I might be crazy, but it just looked like 2 eyes looking straight up at me." I got a flash light. Bill hesitantly looked down behind the bureau again. Sure enough, flattened belly against the wall hands up like he was assuming the position, eyes staring straight up at Bill, was the squirrel. I believe Bill may have been as scared as I was. But, he didn't desert me. Bill would later describe what he saw: "It was really freaky. It looked like a giant dust bunny with eyes!"

We tried to flush that thing out again and again and he kept going from one thing to the other. At one point in his crazed state he brushed up against Bill and that freaked him out...Bill, not the squirrel. Dave had told me not to let Bill handle it because if he got scratched or anything the protocol was to have those rabies shots we have all heard about. So, that knowledge was a little disturbing. Anyway, the squirrel had found that under the nightstand he was fairly safe and he was spending a lot of time under there. We had erected rather elaborate barriers and ramps trying to get him out the window, although they were proving to be worthless. So I got up on the bed and put my broom behind the night stand. I was sort of sprawled across the bed from the side opposite the night stand as I poked. Sure enough he came out and jumped up on the bed with me!!!!! He was staring right at me. I was terrified. Bill was terrified. Bill quit. I called Dave. Once again he started to tell me what I should do. I said very solemnly "Dave. It got up on the bed with me." Dave said "I will be there inside a half hour."

And so in came Dave with his lasso on a stick ready to catch the thing and exterminate it there and then. The three of us were trying to surround this wild thing tearing back and forth around and up and over and under and past and YIKES! It was awful. But with Bill as back up and me cowering in the corner yelling out with fright every time it looked in my direction, Dave did save the day and out the window it went. Dave charged me nothing and I declared him my hero.

The EvidenceThe Weapon
The Outfit

The Aftermath

The Perpetrator (Actor Portrayed)
Hero Bill

And so folks, another single-woman-in-the-suburbs saga ends happily. And I have a website for you to go to. Please go there and pledge your support.



  1. You had a lot more 'fun' than I had with mine. Thank God, I think mine are gone. I would have really been freaked out if it was in the house!! You're brave. Dave is sure a hero!! And also, Bill, for sticking it out with you.

  2. Loved your Memoir! I see a movie in the future..maybe "Dirty Rotten Squirrel" Pictures were great, but I still think you needed a better weapon than a letter opener!

  3. I am glad everything is fine, but isn't this a Ray Stevens Son?
    Love, John

  4. I meant Song!

  5. What a wuss buy a gun and the problem is solved. ha ha just kidding you did great.. my heros....Love Ed

  6. Sue,
    I know you were terrified and I know I would have been had it been me. But you told the story wonderfully and I laughed like crazy at the "credits" at the end.
    Brava mi amora!!!!

  7. i know the song john is thinking of. it goes like this, "billy don't kill the squirrel, don't be a fool with your life. Billy don't kill a squirrel, make mommy take out her knife!"
    good one sube, love, beck


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