Squirrels are SO cute. Just LOOK at them! They have shiny bright eyes, cute little ears, pretty fluffy tails, cute paws that hold seeds so carefully. . .so adorable. THEY.ARE.RODENTS! Have you noticed that they have very good PR reps in media? They are always shown in such a sweet light unlike their relatives the rat or the mouse. Even raccoons (who are also cute) are shown to be thieves and garbage eaters. Not the squirrel – look at him with that acorn, watch him flit from tree to tree. Awwwww.
I used to hate squirrels because I hate all rodents. Now it has simmered down to just annoyed and pissed off. I had a tree specialist come to our house to look at a tree to make sure it was healthy before winter set in. He deemed it safe and then mentioned the squirrels that were running around. I said something snide about them and he gently said, “You know, it’s actually good they are here”. He went on to tell me that squirrels chew on branches to sharpen their teeth and make nests which prevents the tree from having too many or weak branches. Suddenly I felt guilty about hating those little F*@kers. =(
So I tried to think about the good things about squirrels. 1. They do chew for a reason. I mean much like beavers their incisors are always growing. If they don’t wear down their teeth then they would have to get braces. 2. I read they do have some sort of ecological role. In the forest ecosystems they take acorns and seeds and bury them to save them for later. When they sprout the squirrels think they forgot where they put them. Derrrrr! They grow into plants and trees. In my backyard though it means I have HUNDREDS of stupid baby oak trees that I have to pull. 3. They are entertaining. I know people who PURPOSELY put up squirrel feeders so they can see them. I like tv better. 4. They make cute chirpy noises and seem to talk to you. I saw an old lady having a full conversation with a squirrel in her bird feeder. WackADoo! 5. You can eat squirrels. I have nothing more to say about that. 6. There is a variety of them. (in Bubba Gump’s voice. . .) There are gray squirrels, fox squirrels, flying squirrels. . .I think squirrels that “fly” are creeeeeeepy! Well that did not work for me.
Now, here are the pesky things the squirrels do: 1. They sneak into your attic and poop, chew on wires and try to burn your house down! 2. They carry fleas, ticks, mites, parasites (the CDC says they do not carry rabies and have not transmitted to humans). 3. They eat all the bird seed you bought for the BIRDS – and they are messy pigs who leave seeds everywhere for them to sprout. 4. Like rabbits they cause damage to landscaping and plants. They dig up planted bulbs and they will eat all your fruit that you worked so hard to grow.
The only movie I remember where squirrels are shown in a bad light is Christmas Vacation. I would like to thank Chevy Chase for bringing the evil that is squirrel to light in a very fine example of great cinema.