…some packrats must fall. And I try to stay relaxed about that but there is one rule. You break it at your literal peril…
Don’t Steal My Stuff.
Okay, some backstory. Ever since the Great Siding Adventure of 2015 there’s been a stack of plywood and other sheet stock on a couple of pallets in the yard beside the driveway. Its contents have waxed and waned over the past couple of years depending on the project, but until the addition was complete there was no point pretending any intention to remove it entirely. Yes of course there was a big packrat nest under it. I knew that. Packrats love building nests in pallets, which is why I no longer have big piles of pallets near the cabin. I moved them off to a remote location where they’d stop bothering me.
See, the big problem with packrats isn’t so much that they build big messy nests. The problem is that they build the nests out of MY STUFF.
So as this summer’s building projects wound down, I upended the remaining flat stock on those two pallets to sort through it. I had one last little project, re-flooring the powershed, and then I could haul that stuff away and turn my attention to cutting up firewood. Last week I loaded the last plywood scraps and the pallets into the Jeep trailer and when I did, I uncovered this…
That’s an impressive multi-level rat condo by anybody’s standards. This new nest only got started when I upended the flat stock, it wasn’t there a month ago. But they’ve clearly been working in it very busily since. It had to go, but I was in no special hurry. It’s based on a pallet containing a whole bunch of juniper snags that I was going to cut up for Landlady’s firewood “one of these days.” No of course I never got around to it but it was never a problem before now. Now it’s a problem. But again there didn’t seem any special urgency about the project, just something else I could chip away at over the winter. Until this morning.
This morning I came outside and saw this…
Yes, friends and neighbors, a veritable trail of my brand-new firewood headed for that packrat nest. I turn a blind eye to small pilferage but this was theft on an industrial scale, as if some lady packrat said to her husband, “I want a wooden nest like the human has, Hubert, or I’m leaving you and taking the larvae with me.” Next they’ll run hoses for propane and running water.
Clearly my morning’s priorities have changed. After morning chicken chores I came back from Landlady’s place with the Jeep trailer hitched up. That nest and its underlying juniper foundation are going bye-bye. Today.
Don’t steal my stuff.