The Saga of the Sukkah Squirrels


Hubby had made the mistake of reading the weather report online on the Tuesday before Yom Kippur: rain and snow and a short freeze was prediced for the Sunday after Yom Kippur, so, instead of waiting for Sunday when our friends were to help him (we had scheduled for two or three friends, Joe, Mark, and Mark (thank you so much guys!)to help hold the plywood panels up and put them together to build the sukkah with hubby), he went out into the patio, took the lawn mower a friend had given us, and first mowed down the jungle we had there. And believe me, it was a jungle: the nana my hubby had planted for me (so sweet) two years ago overran the grass and was climbing up the sides of the fence (how did we know it was really a weed?!)
Then, he went straight to the panels, which had been standing vertically one in front of the other against the fence by the carport. They had been standing there all year, with the schach nitzchi rolled up next to them.
There was no way to know anything was amiss: the top panels were normal-looking, solid, eight-foot high, four-foot wide plywood panels, one on top of the other.


Hubby removed the front panel. He removed the second panel. Staring him in the face, in the middle of the third panel, in a gaping hole lined with cotton fluff and lint, were three (large. Very large.) squirrels just sitting there in shock probably thinking, "who the H-E-double-hockey-sticks are you to DARE to invade our home?!"

Hubby and squirrels stared at each other for a couple of minutes, while he yelled up the stairs at me to come down. When I arrived outside, we decided we had no choice but to poke them out with a 1x2 board (this is where Jewish guilt kicks in).
So my hubby started poking, the squirrels started running, the stuffing started flying.

To make a long story longer (hat tip to my friend Janice), hubby cleared out as much stuffing as he could, while two of the squirrels ran and disappeared, but papa squirrel was sitting atop the carport roof, thumping his tail and chattering away. We were afraid he'd bring out the militia.

We finally cleaned out all the shmutz (pronounce that "shmootz"= dirt) out of the holes and swept it up into our trash can, while under full watch of papa squirrel, threateningly thumping his tail all the while. So now we had a sukkah with two holey walls (you can interpret that any way you want)-what to do? Our minhag (custom) is to place symbols of all the Jewish holidays inside the sukkah, which traditionally will be the holiday left in the End of Days, encompassing all the other holidays; so over the smaller hole we placed a cut-out yellow chicken which Rambo made when she was four or five, symbolizing kaparot (the atonement ritual for Yom Kippur), and over the big gaping hole, we placed a photo composite of eight Gedolim (great sages); one of our guests summed it up perfectly: 'the Gedolim are there to fill in the gaps.'

I would have put up the photo I took of the actual hole with a squirrel poking his/her head out, but the pic is on my phone, and I haven't even downloaded the phone software yet to be able to upload the pic onto my computer. So you'll have to settle for this pic below.


(Hey, don't look at me; I didn't write the caption.)

Mo'adim le-Simcha!

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Anonymous said…
I think that it is very funny that the squirrels took over. I miss squirrels, there are none here in Israel. But I have a lot of birds having parties in the trees.
Chag sameach!
Leora said…
Squirrel or no, it's a very pretty sukkah. I'd like to include it in JPIX this month.

Thanks for visiting my sukkah. I explained the mailing tape method in my comments.
Lady-Light said…
Anon: I didn't realize there are no squirrels in Israel. I seem to remember chipmunks though...
(How do you like your new place?!)
Leora: Thank you for visiting; this isn't my sukkah, so don't include it yet; I will try to take pics today...and I'll check out your comment on the mailing tape (bli neder).
Baruch Eliezer said…
Sorry we weren't there this year to help set up the Succah and enjoy the friendship and food within. Please give our regards to the fam. We just got back from Moscow visiting some of Chani's family. Devorah Leah is due to be here around 2:00.

Squirrels? Israel has lots of them. Oh, no, wait. Those aren't squirrels, they're cats. Israel probably has as many cats as the US has squirrels.

Guess who has his second tooth????
Batya said…
Gevalt, some story.
Israel has more cats...
DYS said…
Maybe these were frum squirrels and wanted to celebrate sukkot? Were they holding teeny lulavim and etrogim in their paws? :-)
Lady-Light said…
baruch eliezer: We really missed you. And I missed your rocket-scientist sukkah, too (I remember how beautifully you built it)! I don't know if you ever met Toodles (who is here for a visit); you would have met her if you had been here. But then again, she's going back to the Holy Land on the 29th, so you might even meet her there!
You have to tell me all about Moskva (see, I know a little Russian), and D.L.'s visit.
Your take on squirrels is, uh, correct. They're really cats. Israel should 'get with the program' and start spaying and neutering all those loose animals before they're overrun. Oh, sorry--they're already overrun...
Second tooth? Uh, Chani? A cat? MAZAL TOV to Nachman Ovadiah!! (May he get many more tooths, amen!)
batya: So, what do you think of my national spaying idea?
dys: No, actually they were hoarding NUTS. I didn't see a tiny ארבעה מינים when we poked them out. Chaval.
I'm with anon -- miss those squirrels terribly! Why oh why is there a Hebrew word for squirrel, and yet not a speck of actual squirrel to be found? (There's no word for "subtle" in Hebrew... but then, there's no subtlety around here, is there, really?!)
Lady-Light said…
a living nadneyda: Me too (missing those squirrels, that is), sometimes; but not when they burrow into my sukkah.
I looked up the word "subtle" and found these on Morfix: מְעֻדָּן, עָדִין or דק-אבחנה but technically they are related to 'delicate' or 'refined' so unless there is another shoresh that I don't know about, there is no separate root for 'subtle.'
But you're right: Israeli are not exactly (or remotely) subtle!
But I'm sure I've seen chipmunk-type creatures in Israel, in the forests, like Ya'ar Yerushalayim, years that possible, or just a fig of my imagination (I love figs)?
Squirrelman said…
There may have used to be squirrels in Israel. The Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) is common in the Middle East, especially Turkey, but may have disappeared in Israel and other countries. As for the "papa" squirrel, it may actually be a "mama" squirrel because male squirrels of most species do not take any part in raising the young.

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