Were you without power the other day around Uniontown? Confused as to what happened? Apparently, it was all the fault of a squirrel.
Sure, a power outage is an inconvenience, but it was restored quickly. The squirrel, however, was probably turned into what my middle school teacher Mrs. Bell would call a "crispy critter." Let's have a moment of silence for that poor squirrel.
The best part is this has happened before, in 2006.
Squirrels actually cause a fair amount of problems here. They run out in front of cars, for example, or find their way into homes. When I was young and living in Connellsville (the "Boulders" house, actually, and I have a feature coming up in HeraldStandard.com on the 31 about it) they always found their way in, and rounding a corner to be face-to-face with a squirrel was a scary thing at the time. We could hear them scurrying through the walls. Some people set mouse traps, but we set squirrel traps. And perhaps best of all is the fact that a squirrel got trapped and died in a stove.
Without ruining my own upcoming article too much, the house's third floor used to be a ballroom and was turned into a full apartment, which housed two separate great-grandparents of mine. Naturally, it had a full kitchen, so we had a kitchen downstairs that was used regularly and a kitchen upstairs that, after my great-grandparents respective deaths, was used only for visiting relatives or family friends and my sleepovers (but only sometimes because seriously, that house is haunted and I need to get those ghost hunters in there. That entire floor creeped me out BAD).
The time came when our dog, Mandy, seemed to want to go up to that floor and wouldn't go up without my mom. So, the two of them ventured up together, and Mandy went right to the stove in the kitchen and kept sniffing underneath the stove. The smell was obvious to my mom and could even be detected downstairs. She and my dad lifted the stove and looked all around it, knowing something had died but thinking it was underneath. As my dad tilted the stove, he could smell death right under his nose, where the control panel was.
My mom unscrewed the top and pulled apart the panels and peered down into the stove until finally they both looked at the panel they were holding to fine a squirrel that my mother says "had been dead for quite some time." Long enough to attract a hungry worm.
Crispy critter indeed.