The other day, I was leisurely leaning against our sliding glass door, blissfully doing a whole lot of nothing, watching hyperactive squirrels run around our backyard like they were jacked up on crack. Suddenly, a small green lizard fell seemingly from the sky and landed on the deck right outside the door, puffing up his red chest, mouth hanging open like he was hissing…at what? I looked up dumbly, wondering where it came from, and swooping down came a bright red bird with a stocky little beak, attacking the lizard with a vengeance.
It took me a second to react. I mean, did you know that birds eat lizards? I sure didn’t. I was still marveling about lizards raining from the bright, blue sky. Then I shook my head and made myself focus.
I feed birds. There is no shortage of food in our yard, from sunflower seeds to suet, so there was no excuse for this greedy bird to be harassing the lizard. I tapped the glass to scare the bird, and it danced away from the lizard but came charging right back. I tapped again. Again with the electric slide move, only to come immediately back to the scared lizard.
Okay, this stubborn bird wasn’t getting the message. I frowned and reached out to unlock the door, ready to burst from the house in full, blazing lizard protection mode…
…when a squirrel bounded up the steps to the deck, brushed right past the bully bird, grabbed the unsuspecting green lizard, and promptly bit its head right off.
I was stunned. I froze. Wait…not only do birds eat lizards, but squirrels do too? Uh…head first?
My image of squirrels as annoying, pesky, bratty, but mostly cute and harmless animals was instantly demolished. I watched this squirrel casually prop up on its fuzzy hind legs, holding the now headless lizard like a delicious ice cream cone, innocently looking around like a head-eating squirrel clutching its decapitated victim was the most normal sight in the world.
I am still a bit shell-shocked. Maybe therapy will help. Years and years of therapy. All I know for sure, I will definitely be far more careful in our backyard from now on. Now that the squirrels have tasted blood, they might be eager to move on to larger prey.