I wasn’t on hand when the clattering in the fireplace stopped. I was at work. Instead, my lovely daughter Katie and her boyfriend Mark came to visit Anne and brought the entire affair to a peaceful end.
They heard the story so far from Anne. Katie, who used to cry when she saw a dead squirrel in the road and once got extremely upset when she thought she hit a rabbit (not just a rabbit, a BUNNIE RABBIT!) worried about the poor little dear who was scratching frantically in the chimney. She implored Mark to do something to help the poor creature.
Mark, who I think should be fitted with a little audio speaker secreted about his person so the theme from Indiana Jones movies can play at appropriate times like this, leaped into action (Or maybe the 007 theme; he has a sort of Daniel Craig look going on, very much in Hero mode.) He checked over the fireplace from top to bottom, even climbing up on the roof and checking it out up there. I never made it onto the roof. I am far too old and far, far too uncoordinated to clamber from a metal ladder to a roof and back without snagging a sleeve on something and breaking something else after a brief fall. No, leave the physical derring-do to the young men of the world who have a natural flair for derring and do.
Mark found evidence that perhaps it was not a squirrel down there, after all. It was more likely a bird judging from the nest he found inside the chimney. He lowered a rope just in case it was a squirrel so it could climb up the rope to freedom. He returned downstairs to check on other means of possible egress, and in that time the scratching noises, active until then, ceased. Either a bird used the rope as a guide to fly up out of his prison, or a squirrel just passed what was possibly the world’s worst gym class rope climb, with flair.
All is now quiet on the Western front once more.