One Angry Rodent
Do you remember in kindergarten, there was always that one hyper kid who threw a tantrum at the slightest provocation? He’d always scream at you not to use his crayons, not to make faces at him, not to touch his stuff.
So how did we deal with him?
Naturally, by using his crayons, by making faces at him, and touching his stuff…preferably when the teacher wasn’t looking. And sitting back and enjoying the resulting conniption fit.
Not that this was a very nice thing to do. But kids will be kids. Plus, how are you supposed to resist…when someone is almost BEGGING to be teased?
Red squirrels are the same way. They’re just ASKING for it.
Nowhere in the animal kingdom is such anger and indignation compacted into such a small volume, as the American Red Squirrel.
They sit there perched in their tree-thrones, constantly chattering and bickering at other squirrels. Or at you. Or at the whole damned planet. They’re always pissed off about SOMETHING.
I have a bunch of these critters in my back yard, and I have to spend the whole summer listening to them squawk and give me shit. It’s either
Don’t touch my stuff! Don’t look at my tree! Stay out of my territory!
Okay, you know what?
It’s MY back yard, and I weigh 500 times more than you do.
So SHUT the FRAK UP.
What a bunch of assholes.
Maybe if they spent LESS time BITCHING, and MORE time EATING and GATHERING FOOD, they wouldn’t be so Type-A.
So getting back to the Kindergarten analogy, any time one of these little fur-bags gives me another “Tttttttttttttttttttttttttt….ttttt“, and tells me not to touch his stuff, what do I wanna do?
Touch his stuff, of course.
I admit, I’m constantly looking for opportunities to get back at them.
The BEST encounter I had was in Pukaskwa National Park a few years back. I had parked my car, and threw a finished apple into a garbage can. Right in front of me, a little red squirrel jumped in to get it.
Hmmm…me standing there, a garbage can, and one of those hyper critters foraging inside.
Oh, no. This was just too good to pass up.
With my heavy hiking boot, I wound up, and gave the can a big kick. And the metal can resounded with a big, loud THOOOOONNNNNNN!!!
EEEEEEK!!! screamed the squirrel, as he leapt 8 feet straight up and landed on a branch a few feet away. And boy, was he MAD.
Can’t say I could blame him. Imagine if you were inside a huge metal silo, looking for a delicious meal (like a large pizza or steak dinner). And some big lummox comes along with a battering ram and starts pummeling it. You wouldn’t’ be too happy either.
But I rationalized that I was actually doing him a favor. You see, wild animals shouldn’t become habituated to garbage and human food.
Besides, a park ranger once told me that squirrels and chipmunks hibernate and lived off the “brown fat” that their bodies produced from eating nuts and berries. But if they filled up on french fries and human-food, it was unhealthy for them. They’d grow “white fat” which burned differently and they’d have a harder time surviving the winetr.
So, theoretically, maybe banging the garbage can was a GOOD thing. (At least, that’s what I told myself). It didn’t hurt anhyone, but maybe it would make him afraid to use it and he’d learn to stay away.
Squirrel Nut-Sack, however, didn’t quite see it that way.
He GLARED at me, and chattered and squawked, his little cheeks puffing angrily. He was at eye level, just a few feet from me. He knew he was beyond my reach, so he took this opportunity to scold me.
Ttttttt….Tttttt. Oooo! I’m SO MAD! Squeak-squeak-eek-eek-eek-squeak-eek-squeak….This is MY garbage can…this is MY forest, this is MINE…you stay away…don’t do that..don’t touch my stuff….dont’ ever DO that..oooh, I’m sooooo MAD!….
After he felt he made made his point, he proceeded back down into the garbage can, to retreive HIS apple core.
Right in front of me.
Can you guess what happened next?
EEEEEEEK!!! He scrambled back up to the same spot, and proceeded to tear me a new one. He was REALLY pissed off now.
….TTTTTTTttttt TTtttttttt squeak-eek-squeak-squeak. Ooooo! I TOLD you NOT to do that! How DARE you? Can’t you see that this is MY Apple core? Ttttttt….ttttt! This is MY garbage can! Ooooh! I’m SO MAD. I HATE you! I do!… I do!…I do!…Don’t let that happen again…SERIOUSLY….Okay? Okay…okay….Now…I’m going back in again….I’m WATCHING you…OKAY? Don’t do it……DON’T……….Okay…….
He then rummaged around in the garbage can again, doing this own thing.
So naturally, I had to do mine:
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! , and he was back to his squirrel-pulpit, ready to fight for what was his.
Oh, and this time I had done it. I had really gone and done it.
Never on the History of this Planet, had there ever been a more angry rodent.
His tail was bristling, and his beady-black eyes were BULGING with rage.
He was apopletic. He made sounds I’ve never heard a squirrel make before (I think he was speaking in tongues).
Tttttttttttt!…..Ttttttttt! Squarble-warble-gurgle-gleek. Greegle-squork-bork-burgleeak-squeak-squawk!
He was TREMBLING with fury. Depiste the fact that I weighed 250 lbs (and he weighed less than one), I was almost afraid….I think he was THAT close to hurling himself at face and trying to rip out my jugular.
Ttttttt…ttttttt!!!! Y…Y….YOU!. ..YOU! I AM GOING TO KILL YOU! Don’t you ever…EVER EVER do that again! You got me? You HEAR ME?
Squeak-squeak-squeak-eek-eek-eek!!! IF YOU TRY TO PULL THAT STUNT AGAIN..I SWEAR….I WILL MESS WITH YOU! I WILL FIND OUT WHERE YOU LIVE AND FRACK YOU UP! I…I MEAN IT! DON’T…I REPEAT…DON’T KICK THAT GARBAGE CAN AGAIN…EVER! YOU HEAR ME?
I put my hand out to scare him away, but he stood his ground, inches away from my reach. And he kept screaming and screaming at me. I could see his mouth straining, his little buck teeth gnashing, as he directed his entire repertoire of squirrel profanity at me.
This went on for several minutes. And I stood, fascincated, and watched the whole outburst. Not unlike watching a car-crash scene you know you shouldn’t watch.
Finally, the shit-storm abated, and he calmed down. He glared at me, and slowly made his way down the tree, back into the garbage can, watching me.
There was silence. Then the sparrows started chirping again in the trees, and all was calm in the North Woods.
But…(wait for it…)
I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t have…but like I said: Red Squirrels are just ASKING for it! 😀
PS. Don’t feel too bad. Eventually I got bored of this game and left. The little varmint no doubt got his precious apple core.
And if it’s any consolation, I’m pretty sure he’s sent his cousins to my Mom’s back yard to terrorize her chew up her garden shed!