It began a few years ago. Someone, or something, has been leaving half-eaten food around our house. It all started with a slice of pizza. Hence, Pizza Claus, the weirdest giver of gifts.
Eventually Pizza Claus evolved their tastes. Sometimes we would find an apple wedged in the backyard fence. Another time we found a peach, I’m sorry nectarine, pit on top of a post. There were pastries and more pizza. Mostly, Pizza Claus was bold. They left these food stuffs on the railing to the side door of the house. Meaning they got close. A few times we found food on the windowsill of the garage, meaning they had to open the fence and go into the backyard to place it there.
I found all this funny and strange. A bit unnerving, but also the most interesting way to fuck with someone. For awhile I thought someone might be trying to poison my dogs because they, of course, saw their opportunity for freely available food and took it. But that seemed a bit ridiculous.
Today, Pizza Claus revealed himself. He is…a black squirrel. The plague of Holland. The story goes, as told to me by my husband, that a squirrel was walking across the gutters above the garage carrying a half-eaten bagel covered in cheese in its mouth. He watched as the squirrel climbed down the siding and placed the bagel on the windowsill of the garage.
I’m choosing to believe that this squirrel learned how to cook and that’s where the food came from. It’s better than thinking that it simply took the opportunity to take the food from somewhere else around the house that may have been attacked by a human Pizza Claus.
Either way, squirrels are assholes.