A Good Trap

A Good Trap

March 31, 2014
Written by Steven Liechty

Donna Schaper

"While I live I will praise the Lord." - Psalm 146:2

My husband said to me, "Don't worry, Donna, it is a good trap."  The trap was in the back of the car, holding the 5th black squirrel we had captured this winter.  The squirrel population in New York City has had a rough winter and brought their trouble straight to my small garden.  I know, people shouldn't have gardens in New York City.  Blame my parsonage.  Moreover, people shouldn't have squirrels digging out and eating all their perennials.  Thus, we had to take emergency measures.

The Have a Heart trap is set with a peanut in it.  The squirrel goes in for the peanut, saving the perennials.  The trap shuts tight on the squirrel.  Three neighbors phone animal protection services.  Three other neighbors start singing praise songs, loudly, as their small visible gardens and expensive perennials are also going the way of the peanut.  We split the cost of the trap with those able to praise.

We drive the squirrel, who is weeping in anguish, to the East River, where we set it free on the banks.  They only plant wild grasses on the East River and not tulips or daffodils.  Squirrels don't like grasses.  They prefer baby lettuces, lavender and perennials.

Repeating this exercise five times has caused me consternation more than anguish.

You probably think this is an April Fool's joke.  It is not, unless you are a tree hugging squirrelist.  While I live, I will join my neighbors in praising the Lord for both the life of squirrels and their eradication.


When we find ourselves in a good trap, in one that causes us to compete with others, animal and human, assure us, Spirit of the Tame and the Wild, the Garden and the urban wilderness, that we are who we are and that you can still stand us.  Amen.

About the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Grace at Table: Small Spiritual Solutions to Large Material Problems.

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