After three weeks in Europe, and then a few days dealing with thanksgiving, we finally got around to heading back up to our cabin this week. It might have been feeling a bit neglected, and we were certainly missing it.

But we were rather surprised by what met us when we opened the door. The runner on the table behind the sofa was on the floor, along with the notebook and thermometer we always keep there. A quick glance into the kitchen showed us that all the dish towesl were on the floor--as were the towels in the bathroom. As we looked around the place, we noticed a few things knocked over (a lamp, a basket, a nice Indian bowl) and a blanket on the sofa had been shredded.

We quickly checked the mousetraps, which were sprung, but empty.
We were on high alert. Whatever had done this was probably still in the cabin. We slowly poked into the stack of firewood, checked the corner behind the computer (where it would have been warmer.)
Then our daughter gave a groan. She was looking under a bench in the living room, and there it was--a little grey squirrel, complete with XXs in his eyes, was curled up on the floor, dead as dead could be.

We don't know if it somehow crept in just as we were leaving. But that would have been a month ago---and even though it's been cold, I think we would have scented a certain smell of decay by this point. The only other option is that the curious little fellow somehow climbed down the chimney, and couldn't figure out how to get back out again. Since there was no available food or water, it wouldn't have taken long for him to give up the ghost,.

I took him outside and left him out behind the shed. The next morning, he had been recycled by a raccoon, a fox, or some other creature of nature.

But he left us with another story to tell, the next time we're gathered around a campfire.
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