I kid you not. The rattan square table that has been out on the back porch has slowly been devoured by a crazy, evil squirrel (who also ate my radish tops). I tried to hide the damage with the tie-dyed tablecloth that we brought back from China, but even that couldn't cover all the chomp marks.
I decided that it was time to replace the table, perhaps with one made from less delectable materials. I turned to our neighbor Ben, who has started a business reclaiming and reselling barn wood. I commissioned him to design and build me a new coffee table. I gave him the dimensions for the top, but no other guidance.
He delivered the table today and I couldn't be more pleased. The top is made from the wood of an old tobacco barn that stood a hundred years ago in central Kentucky. The wood was taken from the inside of the barn and is mellowed to a beautiful warm brown, which comes from decades of smoke that was circulated in the barn to dry the tobacco. Ben found the metal legs on eBay. They give the table an industrial, edgy look, which I adore. (I'm also confident that the evil squirrel will not find them very appetizing.)
I asked Ed what he thought we should do with the old eaten-up table. He suggested that we move it down into the woods, in a clearing by the creek. That way, we could use it for picnics – and the squirrels could gather around it for forest feasts. A win-win for all.