Squirrel Limerick (Tanka Too)

From time to time, sundry animals (squirrels, raccoons) find our New York City home alluring. While these incidents provide great fodder for poetry and prose, I could live without them. If only…

Our latest animal invasion involves a stubborn squirrel who has taken up residence in an upstairs window AC — the AC that cools my tiny writing-room. Consequently, Mrs. Squirrel (I fear it’s a she) has become a constant companion.

The good news is that our squirrel nuisance has given birth to two poems — a limerick and a tanka. Both poems were also inspired by Big Tent’s prompt to write about being scared of an animal. (I’m more annoyed than scared, but close enough.)

The limerick pretty much wrote itself, but the tanka was a bigger challenge. Why? Because I felt compelled to use the three words (loud, persuasive, riches) dictated by today’s Three Word Wednesday prompt.

First, my limerick:

Dear Squirrel
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Squatter-squirrel, please scat — go away.
This is my house — no wildlife! Okay?
And stop building that nest
In my AC, you pest!
It isn’t a squirrel chalet.

And now my tanka:

Loud screams and clamor
unpersuasive to squirrel,
planting nest riches
under my window AC,
her womb, I fear, rich with life.

(Also posted at I Saw Sunday and Write A Letter Wednesday, which asks for letters to a pet. Once again … close enough.)

Author’s Note: You can find more of my animal humor here and my squirrel humor and verse here.

UPDATE: Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st!

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31 Responses to “Squirrel Limerick (Tanka Too)”

  1. A fun outcome to a nuisance. Good luck with the squirrel.

  2. Mary Margaret Carlisle says:

    You know, squirrel is actually pretty good when deep fat fried and served with wilted fresh greens and sliced tomatoes. Jus’ sayin’…

  3. christine says:

    I would fear that womb too if I were you. Great poem and tanka.

  4. Sheilagh Lee says:

    Pesky squirrel. We had squirrels that wintered in our shed they devoured and shredded toys and other things I had out there and made alovely nest in the lawnmower bag my husband forgot to empty.My husband found them and their babies in the spring last year.

  5. Kim Nelson says:

    If you can be inspired so by a carpetbagging squirrel, you can find inspiration anywhere, Mad!

  6. Squirrels can bring you to your knees
    When they go wherever they please.

  7. Old Egg says:

    The important thing to remember about situations like this is that they are a fine source and inspiration for writing. You did well as the angst may have put off lesser beings.

  8. JTS says:

    Delightfully amusing! My daughter puts out feeders to attract squirrels to her yard, while her neighbor deems them a nuisance in his and kindly traps them to relocate, and yet somehow they remain friends :-)

  9. Tilly Bud says:

    I get that they’re a nuisance but I can’t help liking them.

  10. Altonian says:

    We have made friends with our squirrels. They live in the woods at the back of our house, and feed from a bowl hung in the oak tree at the front. They are delightful creatures, and so far haven’t wrecked anything of ours. Great poems.

  11. ThomG says:

    good luck with the squirrel. Makes for good writing fodder.

  12. Versebender says:

    Really enjoyed the limerick and the tanka is a darn clever take on the three-word. Your usual excellent effort. Voice of experience: you don’t want that squirrel birthing no babies in your AC. Vb

  13. Linda Motley says:

    Funny true story. A guy had several dogs and a motorcycle, and stored the dogs food and the bike in the garage over the winter. What he didn’t know is that chipmunks also made the garage their home over the winter. Being hoarders of food, the little chippies raided the dog food bags, then stashed the food everywhere they could find – in the motorcycle. When spring time came and it was time to start the bike, it wouldn’t start. On inspection, it was discovered that there was dog food stuffed in the gas tank, exhaust pipes, engine, inside the handle bars, under the seats, in the saddle bags, inside the transmission, the oil reservoir and every other little nook and cranny those little critters could find. Took lots of time and lots of money to get that bike running again. Needless to say, the dog food got stored in the house after that.

  14. madkane says:

    What a wild story, Linda! Too funny … if it’s someone else’s motorcycle.

    Mary, I think I’ll take a pass on that deep fried squirrel.

    Sheilagh, I’ll bet you’re glad it was your husband who found those babies.

    Sandy, cute couplet.

    JTS, I can’t imagine how they stay friends.

    Tilly, I used to think squirrels were cute. Not anymore.

    Altonian, nice of them to stay in the woods. I hope they always do.

    Thanks to all of you for your good luck wishes and your kind words about my two poems. I’ll update this post when the situation resolves itself. Right now I’m working on a noise torture scheme, hoping to make the squirrel so miserable from noise and vibrations that she finds a new home.

  15. brenda w says:

    Sterilize Squirrels, use Pesticides! (insert tongue in cheek) Love your work, and am glad we read and write out here. ~Brenda

  16. madkane says:

    Haha! Thanks so much, Brenda! :)

  17. Loved the limerick, but I bet you could do without the nest riches! Squirrels chewed through the wiring in our loft twice. Expensive companions!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    My daughter, a young bride, awoke one morning in the room she and her husband shared at his parents’ home. She rolled over and was staring at a large squirrel doing what seemed to be chin-ups on the closet bar. She screamed, of course, but so did the squirrel. She worked hard to get another living space.

    Live in an apartment facing a high wooden fence. The squirrels dance along atop it and stop to chat when I click my tongue at them. To each his own, I guess. Love your limerick and tonka. Not a bad way to deal with the frustration, either.


  19. pamela says:

    Madeleine, I think I would prefer the company of a squirrel, as opposed to the other options when living in the city. I always had at least two cats when I lived in the city.
    I read your comment on my blog, we were neighbors. I was born in Manhattan, Gramercy Park and spent most of my childhood in Babylon until moving back to the city.
    Good to see you writing to April madness, I love your work.


  20. Mike Patrick says:

    My brother found a babe squirrel, all pink with no hair, and brought it home. We had a cat with kittens about the same size. When Mama cat was out, Bro slipped the squirrel into the cat’s nest. The squirrel burrowed beneath the kittens, and when Mama came back she accepted it as her own. It made a great pet, and those kittens, while trying to keep up with brother squirrel, became the climbingest (not a real word) cats in the country.

  21. Laurie Kolp says:

    I always enjoy your sense of humor. Wonderful that you can take such an annoying situation and turn it into a delightful read!

    The squirrel reminds me of the time my mom found one in her toilet- no lie! That’s another story I’ll have to write about someday…

  22. Tumblewords says:

    Aren’t they all baby carriers? :) These are fun reads…

  23. Cathy says:

    Ah squirrels, either love them or hate them. Hey, at least they are not black bears raiding your bird feeders and garbage cans. I get those once and awhile.

  24. thingy says:

    I’m a squirrel lover, although one got in our attic and then was inside the wall.

    Ick, ook, aak.

    Love your humorous take.

  25. barbara says:

    fun. They can be a trial, being pretty bright within their limits. Have you turned on the AC yet?

  26. earlybird says:

    I do enjoy your verse. It always flows so well.

  27. Susannah says:

    I love the limerick. :-)

  28. Deborah says:

    Mrs. Squirrel, I love that…and I just love the limerick!

  29. madkane says:

    Thanks so much to all of you very your kind words and squirrelly anecdotes!

    And Barbara, no AC yet — NYC spring still is rather wintery this year.

  30. Squirrel, squirrel in your drey,
    I beseech thee, go away.
    In my AC do not nest,
    Go Central Park
    And let me rest.

  31. madkane says:

    Haha! Good one Harry! (I had to look up drey.)