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January 27, 2011

Squirrels aren’t on the top of my list of favorite members of the animal kingdom. They’re kind of pesky animals, getting into places they don’t belong, but they’re interesting to watch.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was pretending to myself I was doing something else that I should have been doing, I was watching this gray squirrel. I saw him (I’m assuming it was a ‘him’ squirrel) run up a tree and then he ran right back down the tree and then he went right back up the tree and then right back down the tree again. There didn’t seem to be any purpose to his running up and down the tree that I could tell. There was no pause at the top or bottom of his route, it was just up, down, up, down. Like running laps.

After the last lap down the tree, the squirrel ran about 20 yards over to a row of shrubs where he stopped just in front of the shrubs and stood up in that way squirrels do where they get up on their hind legs and their little front legs are there in front of them. Mr. G. Squirrel bobbed his head up and down for about three seconds and then he dropped back down to all fours, turned quickly and ran back to the tree. He paused at the bottom of the tree and then he went up the tree and back down the tree. Back up the tree he went again, only this time he stopped halfway up and turned himself around so he was facing down towards the ground. He lifted his head up and looked around for a few seconds and then back down the tree he went and then he ran out of sight.

I was a little sad to see him run out of sight because that meant I needed to find a new excuse for pretending to myself that I was doing the something else I should have been doing when I started watching the squirrel go crazy in the first place. I was also a little happy that the squirrel had finally run away because I was nearly exhausted after watching him.

Squirrels are jumpy by nature, but this was obviously a very nervous and disturbed squirrel. I don’t know what he was so panicky about since I didn’t see any other animals around, but something must have been going on for him. After catching my breath from watching his frantic running and climbing, I decided that despite their ingenuity and cuddly exterior, squirrels live a very nervous life. If I were ever questioned on what species of animal I would want to be, I know I would not want to be a squirrel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2011 9:41 pm

    That squirrel was practicing for the Spring/Summer Squirrel Olympics. The favorite sport is always the highly competitive “Let’s see if we can drive this dog crazy” event. The grey American squirrel usually wins the gold, closely followed by the common brown squirrel.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 28, 2011 7:03 am

      So I shouldn’t be so critical of him then. I didn’t realize he was in training!


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