The Christmas carols have faded and the nursery rhymes are about to begin.
Listen carefully: You can already hear the sounds of Baby Squirrel Season 2012. Mass production is already under way.
The squirrels out there - the ones chasing each other - are not engaged in the squirrel version of any post-Christmas reindeer games. And they're not training for the winter Olympics. Here in the northeast, the annual mating game has begun and it is no meaningless frolic. The parts these squirrels are moving across the gameboard aren't exactly gamepieces. These are squirrel "private parts," and this is the serious business of rodent reproduction.
Heaven help us: All I wanted for Christmas this year was a kinder, gentler form of Squirrel Birth Control.
Is it too much to ask someone to fly a helicopter over the world's forests and, just for one season and one season alone, drop thousands of itty bitty chastity belts into the woods?
Would it be too impossible to borrow some of those old Army training films that were shown to soldiers to turn them off to promiscuity and line up the squirrels for a viewing?
Can some clever wildlife biologist please devise an "on-off switch" for squirrel hormones, just to give rehabilitators a break?
I'm not saying forever here but for just one season? It would be like winning the Lottery for many of us.
But Mother Nature supposedly knows better. And there's no force stronger than that, except perhaps the birds, the bees and - sorry to say - the squirrels.
Spring is coming sooner than you think. And this year's Class of 2012, just like last year's graduates and the ones before, all failed sex education.