It was a beautiful plan that couldn’t fail. The squirrel would dive through its customary escape hatch and instead of freedom, the other end of the dryer duct would drop her right into a rabbit cage with me poised to snap the door shut.
Kaitlyn and Deanna were in the laundry room, waiting for my signal. I was below, ready and waiting. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Becca had crept into the laundry room to watch, leaving the door open behind her.
You see it coming, don’t you?
When we were all ready, they prodded the hiding squirrel. She shot out from beneath the laundry and instead of heading for the dryer vent she began skittering back and forth in a panic behind the dryer, around and between my squealing daughters.
“Where is it going?! What should we do???”
“Grab it! Get it!”
“There it goes!”
While I listened below in horror, I tried to piece together what was happening. The squirrel had dashed around a bit, ran up the length of Deanna’s body and launched itself across the laundry room. Then it had skidded past Becca and into the kitchen, where it hid behind the fridge.
They pulled out the fridge and scared it out with a broomstick, then I heard a thundering, laughing, yelling stampede cross the length of the house. “Noooo! Get the dogs! Lock them up!”
The dogs barked helplessly from a bedroom as little paws skittered across the tile and children thundered back toward the laundry room. I prepared myself. Surely now the squirrel would escape and fall into my trap.
They yelled and headed to the other end again. “It just flew off the top of the door frame! It’s like a flying squirrel!!!”
“It’s behind the couch!” I heard furniture sliding. The stampede headed my way again. I got ready to snap the cage shut, but with no expectation of actually being called to duty. The noise moved again to the far end of the house.
“It’s in the Christmas tree!!! Is it in the tree? Where is it?”
I dutifully stayed at my post, amused but annoyed that I was missing all the fun.
Finally, I heard them moving one last time toward my end of the house. Everyone was quieter this time. The squirrel was exhausted, terrified, and losing hope. It finally hid in the laundry room behind a small stack of vinyl tile. As the girls moved the boxes away one by one, the squirrel’s body slowly emerged. When the last box was moved, it stayed right where it was, hiding its face behind its paws. They set a bucket over it and slid a vinyl tile beneath, and the chase was over.
I carried the empty cage up to the house where we carefully transferred our captive, and we all sat down to swap accounts of exactly what had happened.
note: The video freezes after about 1.5 minutes. I tried to trim it but youtube was having problems so I’ll have to try again later. In the meantime, you’ll know when to stop because it gets really, really boring.