The dog comes into the office looking disgusted. “Well, you’ve really done it now, dude.”
“What? What did I do?”
“You had to go and put a bird feeder in the front window, didn’t you?”
“What about it?” We put a thistle-seed feeder in front of the bay window in the living room, and I added a small regular feeder on impulse. They give SteelyKid something to look at outside.
“It’s attracted ninja squirrels.”
“Oh, come on.” I say. “That’s nothing compared to the ninja squirrel that was on YouTube a couple of years ago.”
“Not yet, it isn’t. But you’ve opened the door. Soon, they’ll be climbing along wires, and through spinny things, and before you know it, they’ll be inside, eating everything. And then, they’ll come for you.”
“I think you’re exagger–”
“ChitterchitterchitterSQUEEEK!” she says. “That’s what they say when they pounce. It’s the SQUEEEK! that lets you know they’re out for blood.”
“OK, that’s it. No more monster movies on the SciFi Channel for you.”
“No, this has gotten ridiculous. Every time you watch one of those flicks, you get more paranoid. I’ve told you a million times, the squirrels are no threat. Haven’t I?”
“Yes, you have,” she says sullenly, tail drooping.
“I’ll prove it. Watch.” I lean over the couch and bang on the window. The squirrel startles, loses its grip on the pole, and falls down out of view. “See?”
“I guess you’re right,” she says, grudgingly.
“Thank you.” I turn around to head back toward the office.
“Or is that just what they want you to think?”
“That’s it!” I spin around. The squirrel is back on the pole, staring at me with beady little eyes. Dark and malevolent beady little eyes.
“OK, you can go outside and run them off,” I say.
“Ooooh!” She’s off like a flash for the back door. I follow her, looking back occasionally to keep an eye on that squirrel.