Our new neighborhood is a hotbed of squirrel activity. Whenever I look out the window of my office I can see them clambering all over the trees, running in the streets, scampering over our neighbors’ rooftops, taunting the cats. When I go outside, they chitter and chatter at me, chewing me out. They may look cute, but I know their darker designs.
Indeed, it seems that one of their latest strategies involves lulling us into a false sense of security:
- In Sioux City, an English professor has formed a tight bond with a squirrel; and
- In Pittsburg, an Indian head man forms a bond of friendship with a baby squirrel.
However, these overtures should not be seen as anything more than sheer duplicity; their attacks are coming just as strong as ever, and there are hints that they’re beginning to employ biological warfare. To wit:
- In Indiana, squirrels are eating the bark off of beech trees;
- A squirrel infected with plague was found in Los Angeles, forcing the Department of Forestry to close the Stoneyville Picnic Area. (You may point out that squirrels have always been a host for the fleas that are the reservoir for the plague bacterium, but I would respond that this only shows that the wars have been going on for a very long time.)
- And in San Mateo, a squirrel was found infected with the West Nile virus.
So, they’ve engaged in a program of defoliation as well as biological warfare. We should all be worried.
Of course, the staple of the squirrel arsenal is their attacks on our power lines. I can only assume these are some sort of suicide attack, because the squirrels are usually electrocuted in the process. There have been two such attacks lately, in very different parts of the world:
- In Shropshire, UK, a squirrel conducted a suicide attack on power lines and darkened 1700 homes;
- In the city of Baraboo, Wisconsin (Baraboo?!!?), a squirrel attack left 800 to 1000 homes without power.
Fortunately, some people are fighting back; for example, Iranian police seized and brought into custody fourteen squirrels accused of international espionage.
Finally, a band calling itself the Squirrel Nut Zippers has chosen to reunite to provide us all with musical inspiration during these dark times. Good for them! Naming themselves after our rodent foe displays a daring defiance and determination which we should all try to emulate.
There is still much to do, though. When will America wake up? The odds of being inconvenienced by a squirrel attack are nearly one in fourteen million. Constant vigilance is key. Keep an eye out for squirrels acting strangely. And if you suspect that any of your friends, neighbors, or loved ones are displaying any squirrely tendencies, I urge you to report them to the authorities right away.
Game still on squirrels. America will never surrender!