Finals time at school right now. Enjoy a little piece about the Bushy Tail Mafia.
Have you ever met the squirrels over at Sacramento State or the ones at the state capitol (referred to as capitol squirrels)? They aren't so much tame as they are ballsy. I mean these guys got no fear of people when it comes to food. Undaunted by our size, they rely on their adorable outfits, rambunctious play, and adorably chittery sounds to lure us in and feed them.
And they know we will. It's a sweet racket they have going here. Absent are the Forest Rangers and signs reminding us the lesson we all know well: DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. I do feed them happily... everyone does. Feeding the squirrels is the adorable bridge we're all jumping off.
Still, I try to be better about it than most. I avoid handing them cookies or bits of bleached white bread, rather I raid a few kumquats from the campus tree and give those to them. Some accept and curiously nibble them. Others toss them aside and go in hunt of an undergrad with a supply double stuff oreos (but for those, hell, I'll chitter on my hind legs for ya').
*insert dirty joke*
Anyways, I am finding that they're becomming aggressive in their begging. Bold. Intelligent. I think they are actually planning.
Take my last encounter with them as an example; after getting to the campus far too early, I decided to kill some time by laying on the grass and throwing a few kumquats to the furry fiends. I made a few chittering sounds, the speaking squirrel equivalent to adding "o" at the end of English words in an attempt to "speak" Spanish. It seemed to work though as one squirrel perked up and then came over me in gleeful bounds and hops. All very adorable. Cooing at them ensued.
I tossed him a kumquat to which he analyzed, turned over a few times, and began to eat in a furious nibble. Once finished he looked at me, "Have any more?" he seemd to say. I held one out to him. He cautiously looked at me. Looked at the kumquat. Looked at me. Then again at the kumquat. Carefully he moved, a pace at a time, then reached out and snatched it from my fingers.
A proud look on his face, he made a triumphant squeak.
I watched him complacently and then took notice of his friend bounding up to my left. I thought I'd give him one too. I turned to the small pile of kumquats on my right and then stopped. Three more squirrels sat staring at the small kumquat pile. I reached out for the kumquats and they all began to squeak at me.
Nervousness set in. Looking back to my left, the squirrel now had a friend. I turned my head. Another behind me.
The first squirrel was a decoy. He'd sent out the call. I'd been set up. I was surrounded.
I turned back to the pile of kumquats which the squirrels were already running from, each with a little orange globe in their mouths. They had planned this little raid and were successfully pulling it off. It was like the velocoraptor scene in the first Jurassic Park movie. But cuter.
I got up and abandoned the fruit. I figured they might call others, and I couldn’t recall when I last had a rabies shot. I was totally outnumbered and they were smarter than me when it came to getting snackies.
It's only a matter of time. Screw the computers taking over. It's gonna be squirrels.
Image from Threadless.com.