Bam! Too easy! Cyril is in the trap within an hour. Now Dad has a problem - how to keep a squirrel reasonably happy in a trap right through the night and round to morning when we can take him away from here sufficient distance.
Naturally, I offer to help - that's me looking up at the loft-hatch from the bottom of the ladder "calmly" offering to assist. (Mum says more like dancing around, squeaking and pleading to be allowed to come up into the loft where the daft humans have a squirrel in a trap which they actually want to keep alive !! How absurd is that?)
I'm shut in the loo while the animal is brought down the ladder. Mum and Dad decide to release him on the back terrace hoping he'll flee and be so upset by the trapping experience, he never comes back. Ha! He scampers right, dives back into the Albertine rose, up the back of the house, out round the soffit and gutters, and over the roof, headed, we guess, straight back to the hole (now blocked) back into his nice warm loft.
A pic here, too of him in the trap and, for good measure, one of the tiny hole down into the gable end above the bay where Dad (not a small bloke) has to crawl in order to get at the starling/squirrel hole.
A friend on one of Mum's Internet chat sites happily informs us that we have just broken the law - the release of wild animals "into the wild" is forbidden by the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981..... oops
Since the release day (Wednesday) we have heard squirrelly scrabblings only once, and we now think this is what has happened. When Dad blocked the holes on Sunday, Cyril may have been hidden up in the loft, keeping quiet. He was then effectively trapped in the loft, unbeknownst to us, round till Wednesday without food or water. When Dad set the trap, he must have been starving, and dived on the offered cheese and peanut butter, heedless of the trap dangers.
By trapping and releasing him outdoors, we probably saved his life. Anyway, so far, other than those quick scrabblings, which we now think were him outside the blocks trying to find his way back in, it's all gone quiet. My Client humbly submits m'lud, that we did not release him "into the wild" as he was set free on the very civilised terrace table and, anyway, our actions were well intentioned..... (gulp).
For now though, the trap is up there, re-set, and armed with a peanut butter-smeared walnut, and all ears are prick'd for the sound of squirrelly feet on the loft boards again.
One down-side to this, of course, is that the starling are also excluded from nesting in that gable this spring.