While coyotes are trotting through Riverside Park, moles and other critters are making themselves at home in my part of Germany. I looked out at the racks of clean laundry I'd just hung out to dry on our patio and observed a red squirrel on top, stuffing an article of clothing into his mouth.
"Get out!" I screamed, startling my husband, who thought I was talking to him. The rodent ran. There was the time I opened the patio to air out the living room--something I've been doing for years with no ill effects--and during the nanosecond when my back was turned, a critter (species unknown, but I suspect a cat) left its calling card under the dining room table.
Spiders--big ones--sometimes big hairy ones--find their way into our living room, and children ask me to get the plastic cup quick, Mommy, and take them awaaaaay, and of course I do. Then there's the bird's nest in our newspaper holder, and now, on the edge of our mailbox, a scene straight out of the final chapter in Charlotte's Web: a family of tiny spiders, each the size of the head of a pin, seems to have descended on its northwest corner. Thinking of the three little spiders who befriend Wilbur at the very end, I can't bring myself to smoosh them. Besides, they eat mosquitoes. If I let them have the edge of the mailbox, maybe they'll tackle the spider problem.