The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Column: Go make peace with the Grinnell squirrels

There’s got to be something in the trees. There’s got to be something in the water. There’s got to be something about the food in the dumpsters and our dorm rooms (or is it the corn?). There’s got to be something different about the nuts around campus—because the squirrels around here are crazy.

I’m sure most of you have had a thrilling/frightening squirrel experience of some sort. It may have been an intense stare-down on the sidewalk, or maybe the squirrel jumped on your face, sucked the living daylights out of you and left you with another squirrel growing inside of you, reminiscent of the alien creatures from the “Alien” movies. Let me guess, it was the former, but kind of felt like the latter?

My personal experiences with the squirrels have increased 420 percent this semester because my room is connected to a loggia and my food is more easily accessible to their prying little claws. Not only that, but I am a victim of squirrel-window-tampering—both of my window screens have small holes chewed out of them by squirrels, which is actually a common sight on North Campus.

A couple of months ago, I left one of my windows slightly open while I stepped out for a few hours. Upon my return, I noticed that many things on my desk and dresser—both located near my windows—were knocked over, including my box of Rocher chocolates. I looked over at my windowsill and noticed three golden wrappers sitting near the holes on the screen. The squirrels had left a calling card. This meant war.

Okay, so even though “war” was what I was feeling at the time, I never had any intention of hurting any squirrels (or at least not any serious intention). And to be honest, I actually forgot about them for a while. That is, until they struck again.

About a month after first contact, I cracked my window barely open (an inch max) and left my room for a couple hours. When I got back, I opened my door to find a squirrel staring me down from across the room. After the initial shock, for some reason, I leapt for the little guy, not really knowing what I would do if I had actually caught it (most likely, I would have freaked). But before I could even get to it, it jumped up onto the windowsill, slithered through the tiny crack, and out through the hole in the screen. That’s right, it slithered—like a snake.

The squirrels may be crazy, but I believe we can coexist with them. These squirrels (even the ones without tails) have just as much right to be here as we do—even if they do pillage through our cereal boxes and Scooby Snacks.

The time has come to connect with our cuddly cohorts. So this weekend, enjoy the weather and enjoy life. And on Monday, grab some munchies and make peace with the squirrels.

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