An Unwelcome Snacker

Lisa Dexter
2 min readDec 8, 2021

What happens when you put out snacks and don't specify intended recipients

Caught in the act — image and edits provided by author

In the weeks leading up to last Christmas, we had delivery people stopping by at least a few times a day. We weren’t alone. With many people turning to online ordering to avoid shopping with others, all of the neighborhood porches were stacked high, and the delivery folks seemed worn out. My husband and I decided to put out a bowl of candy and some bottled water on the porch with a thank you note. The snacks were popular, but love soon turned to obsession in one case.

Nuts for nuts

After hearing a few strange noises coming from the porch one day, I poked my head out the window and was surprised to see a squirrel on the table with the snacks. The sweet darling looked like a well-behaved, angelic forest creature, so I went about my business until a few minutes later when there was an even louder noise. I checked my see-all doorbell footage and found out that squirrels love Snickers bars. His unabashed adoration kept the little guy coming back for more. Luckily, we had a plan.

We ditched the cute little candy-holding bucket for a plastic storage tub with a lid and attached a note requesting that any candy seekers put back the top after they grabbed a snack. That lasted a day or so before our furry buddies (yep, we’re plural now) made their thoughts known. We weren’t going to be done in by fluffy thieves — I have a cat for that — so it was back to the drawing board. And off to Home Depot.

Squirrel-1, Tub-0 — image and edits provided by author

We were soon the owners of a metal toolbox with a latch. We attached a note that simultaneously thanked folks and pled with the human snackers to relatch the box, and we waited. It took a while for the squirrels to accept reality, but eventually, they admitted defeat.

Lesson learned

This year, the metal candy box is back out, along with the open cooler of water bottles. My husband even got adventurous and added some Gatorade. While I’ll never understand someone voluntarily drinking Gatorade, the delivery people and mail carriers seem fond of it. More importantly, squirrels do not like it.

If you’ve stuck with the story this long and would like to see a video of last year’s saga, you’re in luck. It’s just over six minutes of silliness and doorbell video. Enjoy.

Lisa Dexter

I am a freelance writer from the Chicago area. I have one awesome child, one sweet husband, one clingy cat, and one website: