Decorations for Halloween At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn are completed. The spider webs, sure to become the envy of even the most industrious spiders, are adorning the front bushes. Smiling scarecrows have now joined forces with the Pineapple fountain acting as “greeters” to our Autumn guests. Inside, ghosties, bats, cats, sparkly pumpkins and “beware signs” all herald the upcoming All Hallow’s Eve.
Despite all these tributes to the festivities of Halloween one thing is regretfully missing. More regretfully, it must remain in absentia. Though a native New Yorker, your innkeeper spent more than a few years in the south. It was so exciting to us when we moved back to N.C. to enjoy four seasons to decorate the inn’s porch. We chose pumpkins in every conceivable color stacking them on hay stacks thoroughly enjoying the whole fall decorating thing to the max.
For reasons unknown, last year a strange thing occurred. For the very first time, a scurry of squirrels located the pumpkins and gourds on our porch. Ok, I’m using the word “located” as a euphemism for the military operation, verging on seige that they undertook on the porch At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. It seems they wanted to eat the gourds and eat them they did. This ingestion was not noted as a dainty bite taken from the gourds and the pumpkins but a full blown smorgasbord. These squirrels overtook our porch and perimeter with a military astuteness Rommel would have envied. The gourds were the first casualties. We put them out on a Monday, their robust presence and lively colors were evidently too much for the creatures to resist. They were entirely dismantled, scattered willy nilly all over the porch leaving only the tiniest of pieces in sad evidence that they were ever easily swept up in a dustpan. Emboldened by their success and energized by their gluttonous evening before, they returned to assault the pumpkins. They started up at the top and burrowed their way down. They were undaunted by the approach of humans daring, Taylor, our housekeeper, to even try and interfere with their feast. For that matter, they defied any efforts by anyone to interfere with this feeding frenzy. Finally, as the days progressed, the only remains noted of the pumpkin carcass, a mere shadow it’s former self ,was the determined, uber frenzied movements of an extended gray tail. Halloween really can become a scary time of the year.