Dear Squirrel,

Winter is coming. I understand that you need a place to stay. But please find an alternative to my house. Yes, it is warm and cozy. No, you may not come in. Enough with the chewing.

I thought this was clearly established last year. Remember when you woke me up every morning with the scratching and chittering? I was not impressed by your tenacity. Frankly, that’s why actions were taken.

You pushed. I responded.

I apologize for the trap. It was overly dramatic. In my defense, it was a “live trap” and its packaging displayed a drawing of a squirrel and a heart, which pretty clearly signals my feelings on the matter.

I acknowledge that as an arboreal creature you have easy access to my patio. But the bits of bagel and pizza crust strewn about are simply disrespectful. How you managed to balance a loaf-sized hunk of bread on the narrow porch railing is beyond me. It seems like a deliberate taunt. You may stop now. Message received. No more traps.

The torrent of peanut shells is tolerable. My dogs sneak them up to the bedroom, and last week I awoke to find a shell fragment stuck to my face. But this is clearly not your fault; the dogs are poorly trained. It is a nuisance, yes, but all in all I’d say that the whole shell business falls into the realm of typical squirrel behavior, and thus I would not think of asking you to stop. Consider this an olive branch.

I simply ask that you relinquish my home. There were faults with the old roof that proved too tempting for even the best-intentioned rodent, I understand. So you’ll notice that as of Friday the ruckus that has kept you away from the structure has ceased, and upon your return you will no doubt realize that extensive changes have been made. This was not inexpensive and I would appreciate it if you could respect the all-too-clear message of so much new wood and flashing.

You know what they say: Good fences make good neighbors. If you give me a chance I think you’ll see that’s exactly what I am. I hope that soon I may say the same of you.

William Sawalich