Uprising: The Rodent Rebellion
(Constructive Disengagement)
by Jon Bowers

For many years our clans lived side by side in peace, squirrels outside the house and we humans inside. In early 2008, the squirrels violated this de facto agreement and attacked, establishing a forward base camp in the attic. For the next twenty months we fought a brutal war of attrition. In family lore, this period is referred to as The Great Squirrel Wars of 2008-'09.

The squirrel troops waged a classic guerilla campaign, deploying in small groups and striking in the early morning hours. They were remorseless in their use of psychological warfare. After locating our headquarters, the master bedroom, they dropped into the wall behind our bed where they scratched and chattered for hours at night, mere inches from our heads. The horror is indescribable, comparable only to my U.S. Air Force POW training during which I was kept in solitary confinement and forced to watch an endless loop of the same five episodes of "American Idol."

We countered the squirrel offensive with mothball barrages, to no avail. They regrouped, launching a raid that was obviously months in the planning and unparalleled in its violence, and which nearly crippled our defenses. In a masterfully executed mission, a small team of squirrels (we assume "Black Ops") severed our connection with the outside world by chewing through the phone lines in the attic. It was time to haul out the big guns.

Reinforcements arrived in the person of Wayne and his brother Ronald, who specialize in "eco-friendly" pest removal. Rather than kill the enemy combatants, the brothers' modus operandi would be to ambush, capture and then release them miles away from the war zone. We opted for this nonviolent method not out of compassion but fear. We reasoned that using chemical warfare, such as rat poison, would be a tactical error as other squirrel clans would learn of it and become radicalized, thereby creating a new generation of terrorist squirrels and casting ourselves in the role of the Great Satan.

One by one the guerillas were captured. From inside their cages they chattered furiously, their rage mounting visibly as I passed by on the way to the mailbox. I avoided the area until the last of them was removed.

Our phone service is restored. We are trying to rebuild our lives but, admittedly, exist in a state of uneasy calm. I keep my youngest son's power slingshot under the bed--loaded.

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