Thank you to my long-time friend, Linda Gill for sharing this with me. Linda has always had her finger on the pulse of the local churches.
After several Sunday services were interrupted by a community of acorn-hoarding rodents, the local Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, the Building and Maintenance committee members concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they should not interfere with God’s divine will.
The squirrels had also taken an interest in the local Baptist Church up the road. The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistry and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
The members of the Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later, the squirrels were back after the Baptists took down the water-slide.
The Episcopalians started down a unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning. They then sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.
The Catholic church came up with an interesting strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and made them parishioners. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter. . . but the squirrels had already left their mark.
During the quarterly, ecumenical clergy breakfast, the local squirrel situation was one of the topics of discussion and the attending clergy were sharing their woes. All, except the Rabbi who was silent, but smiling. One of the others noticed his smile and asked how his temple dealt with the rodents? “The first day, we found the biggest male and we circumcised him. We never saw another squirrel after that”.
Tradition coupled with innovation wins again.