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.)
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