If we were having coffee today I guess it would be high time I told you about my experience with Squirrel Armageddon. That’s right. I’m talking about evil, vindictive squirrels.
I was reminded of this the other day when I saw some television commercial that featured a number of squirrels all gathered in a tree and they were ganging up on a guy and pelting him and his car with pine cones. It is amazing the horrors that can be dredged up from something so mundane.
Years ago in Austin, Texas I lived next to a park that stretched along a creek in a narrow band for about a mile or so. Most weekends I’d take a walk down the length of this park and back. My garage apartment was right at the edge of a wider area of the park that was nicely wooded and included tennis courts and a playground and at the end of my walk I’d usually saunter across this area back to my place.
One quiet Sunday I was finishing my rounds and as I entered the far edge of the playground I heard a loud noise over near my house. My next-door neighbor’s dog was chasing a squirrel in the yard. The squirrel managed to get away but not before it let off a loud frantic alarm screech. In seconds, in every tree in the park, every squirrel in the area descended and started chirping and flicking their tails, not at the miscreant dog mind you, but at me. The dog was long gone, show’s over for him. These guys were all focused on yours truly, the only other living thing in the park.
I don’t know if you’ve ever really heard a squirrel alarm, so I found one on YouTube that sounds pretty close to what I remember. https://youtu.be/i6IR0JmfkvQ … fast forward to about 43 seconds in. Close your eyes and let it sink in, then multiply it by hundreds and add in spooky echoing effects from all the trees on an otherwise still Sunday morning. Yeah, I think that would be pretty close.
Don’t forget, they were focusing all their attention on me, every last one of them, their tails flicking, their evil, dark squirrel eyes sizing me up, re-positioning themselves to continue focusing on me as I warily crept across the park, at this point uncertain if the intimidation might possibly turn into action. I have to admit I thought of that fearsome bunny in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
This cacophony continued until well after I fumbled with my keys and entered the safety of my apartment. I’m sure great-great grandchildren squirrels in that park still recount tales of their ancestors fighting and winning the battle of Sunday morning. Brrrrrr.
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina. http://thefensk.com for more information.