The Squirrel of ‘Mississippi Squirrel Revival’ Fame
The song doesn’t say, but in case you have ever wondered what happened to that crazed Mississippi squirrel that brought on the revival in that sleepy little town of Pascagoula, Mississippi, wonder no more. I think I may have cleared up that little mystery.
Spring is often a busy season for a chimney sweep, but not for the reasons one might expect. Gone are the winter requests to cure a smoking fireplace or to inspect or rebuild a chimney after a fire, and we get a few calls from organized souls who want to get a jump on next fall’s heating season by cleaning their chimneys ahead of time, but a lot of our spring calls come from people who have discovered animals and/or their nests in the chimney: usually an assortment of birds or squirrels, less frequently a raccoon, or perhaps an O’possum.
At least on one occasion, we were called by a homeowner whose house was suddenly infested with flies due to a dead animal in the chimney; and then there was the time we were called upon to ascertain what caused the stench in one house as they thought it must be something in the chimney. Following a thorough inspection which turned up nothing…I happen to notice a strong smell coming from a table near by. I found a package of something that was stinking greatly and it had the look of being wet around it and it had dried up. The embarrassed elderly lady said, ” so that’s where that fish went.” She had taken a package of frozen fish out of the freezer and put it down on the table to answer the phone and forgot about it.
The chimney sweep seems to be the go-to guy when people just don’t know where to go, and, as I say, spring ends up being fairly busy.
So when the phone rang once we weren’t entirely surprised to hear, “I saw you on the computer. I know you get birds and things out of chimneys, but I have something much worse than a bird!” followed by a tale of woe, poured out, if you can imagine, in a frantic voice with a serious Southern d-r-a-w-l.
This poor woman’s house reeked so badly with the odor of something dead and decaying that they could barely stand to stay in it, and after looking everywhere they could possibly think of to look, they concluded that a squirrel had died in the chimney, a not at all unheard-of event in the world of chimneys and fireplaces. She had called to see if we, or anyone we knew, could take care of such a problem for her, going on to tell me that she had called the “wildlife people” who had someone that took care of such things, but, alas, they were unable to locate him.
Even in her misery, she was so very polite, as Southern belles are wont to be, and I found myself wanting to help her. Almost. Such a job is always distasteful, to say the least. I started to ask where she was located, but before I could get the question out, she asked me if the job could be done for free… That made me chuckle and I told her that there would certainly be a charge no matter who did it.
And then she said, “Are you in Alabama?” Alabama? Uh…no. She explained that our area code was only one number off from an area code that she knew of in Alabama, so she thought maybe we were there, close enough to come to her rescue in…. Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Relief! I no longer felt bad for not figuring out how to help her. We are right in the center of Texas ~ the part she missed when she found us on the computer . So, we wished her well, expressing hope that she would find someone to take care of that for her. And in that lovely, lively, eager Southern voice she assured me, “Oh, I will! Even if I have to pay them!”
Well, in any event…one Squirrel of Mississippi Revival fame: Found! And now you know…the rest of the story.
You don’t think it was the same famous squirrel? Well I am not sure about the life span of a squirrel but surely it was related. If not, it was a squirrel and it was in Pascagoula, Mississippi. And no I am not running for public office but that would be all the proof a politician needs, right?