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On Determination

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On Determination

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feederThere is a small non-violent war going on in our backyard. A year ago, we put up a bird feeder. Note the operative word in that sentence – bird feeder. The resident squirrel discovered the bird feeder this spring. Our first warning was finding the feeder with the top off.

I tried masking tape to tape down the opening of the feeder. That was child’s play. The squirrel tore through the tape.

I wrapped tie downs around the feeder. The squirrel chewed through them.

I bought “Squirrel Away”, a red pepper powder that is mixed into the seed to discourage the squirrel. The dust is irritating to breathe. It acted as an appetizer for the squirrel.

I bought a different style bird feeder. It is shaped like a witch’s hat with a round cylinder below it. The squirrel figured out how to hold onto the pole with his back legs, dip his body forward until his arms reached the rim of the feeder and proceeded to eat 3 pounds of seed in two days.

I re-established the tie downs on the original feeder. The squirrel chewed through them again.

I placed thicker tie downs on the feeder.

Next, I’ve installed a fan like device that covers the top of the feeder. If that does not work, we’ll place the feeder on a longer bracket that is further from the pole, try the witch’s hat again, and cut down the branch over the feeder that enables him to drop from above.

I have to admire the squirrel’s tenacity. He has all day to work on this problem. He reminds me of how we react when faced with adversity and challenges. Perseverance and determination carry us through business difficulties, growth spurts, and setbacks. Sometimes you face a formidable adversary. Don’t give up. There is always a solution. I’d like to think that humans have an advantage over the wild life.

I met a man last week who helped me keep the squirrel’s raids in perspective. He lives in Pennsylvania where a bear is tearing into his bird feeders. I’ll keep my squirrel problem, thank you. There is always a more challenging problem out there that could affect you. Several years ago, I heard a speaker say to our audience: “Suppose I asked you to put your most pressing problem on a piece of paper and bring it to the front of the room to drop in a basket. The rule is that you would have to take back someone else’s problem. Once you saw the other problems in the basket, you would be fighting to get your original problem back.”

Also see the post “All I learned about Human Nature I learned from the Backyard Bird Feeder”.

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