Our "Girdwood Squirrel Revival" Sunday

We knew we had a squirrel in the church.  Friday it got into bags of chocolate chip cookies.  Saturday it came back and cleaned out one of our live traps (this was harder to set than I realized) and got into some oatmeal from the food pantry.  Saturday night it stayed away even though we tried to encourage it with three correctly-baited traps.  We loaded each with granola bars dipped in peanut butter.

Sunday we had church.

So did the squirrel.

I was about five minutes into my sermon at the early 8:30 AM worship service when I saw it crawl across one of the beams.  "There it is!"  I stopped and pointed.  Our 8:30 service is small and intimate.  We decided that even though the traps had been put away for worship, we'd bring one out and put it up high where right where the squirrel had just been.  We had a little break right there in the middle of the sermon while we got out a ladder and moved the traps.  (This, by the way, is not the most disruptive thing that's happened during a sermon of mine.  It ranks right behind a medical emergency -- where persons ended up being OK -- and a bear right outside the church window.)

We were prepared to hear the slam of the trap door and the sounds of a frantic animal who had merely been trying to get his paws on some peanut butter.  But the squirrel stayed away for the remainder of the worship service.  All was quiet.  The show was over.

And he stayed away from the 10 AM worship service too...at least until the end.  At that point, right before the closing song, some of the kids in back squealed as they ran out the back of the church and followed the squirrel into the library and saw a hole it ducked into. 

At the close of the worship service, the traps were moved out front and center.  Children peered into holes and wondered, excitedly if we'd catch him.

Then people went home.

Then, a third time the squirrel made an appearance.  This time it was during our administrative meeting.  We saw it run through the narthex, turn and look at us and keep going.

Later that afternoon, we came by the church and found one very unhappy squirrel in one of our cages.  our girls named him "Hammy" from the squirrel character in the "Over the Hedge" comic.  Hammy didn't seem very pleased although he had eaten the peanut butter.

We loaded him up in the car.

And, because everyone kept telling me that squirrels are smart and can find their way back unless you release them a long way away, we drove the squirrel all the way out to Portage, about 10 miles away, to the train depot there.

My girls released him.  And off he ran into the woods.

Hopefully he'll be able to find some food--food that's not in our church.

Hopefully he'll live a long and happy squirrel-y life.

Hopefully he hasn't told his friends how to get into our church.


  1. Why does a certain song come to mind...

  2. That particular song was played the following week...