Don’t Hate, Appreciate… The Squirrel

Today was National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

I’ve always appreciated squirrels, from the nearly-black squirrels who hung casually around my grandparents’ cabin up north to their more citified brethren that frequented the garbage cans at Augsburg College.

These Augsburgian squirrels were a strange mixture of being totally feral and completely tame; they would wait until you got within two or three feet and then suddenly go into a complete, demented panic and try to skitter away. Except that these squirrels were usually so fat from having eaten high-cholesterol college student “food” that they couldn’t manage anything faster than a drunken stagger.

The squirrels were so prevalent at school I started an opinion piece in the college paper called “Squirrel Bites,” which were a little bit like sound bites, but… well, they were a mixture of being totally feral and completely tame. They were snippets of opinions from students, who all answered a single question via email. I’d collect them all and run them together in a single column, so you could see the breadth of opinion on critical, life-changing issues like the quality of the cafeteria food.

Like real squirrel bites, they were small, often painful and occasionally, rabid.

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