Up here in the north, squirrels are a constant presence. For the most part, I enjoy watching them scamper on the ground and scrambling up trees. It gives me something to watch when I stare out the window.
My husband isn’t particularly fond of squirrels; he thinks they are filthy rodents with crazed eyes. I always tease him about his judgement on squirrels and insist he is being over dramatic. Or, I did until we came across some insane squirrels when hiking at a state park the other day.
It started innocently enough: we were following the trail when we came to a narrow stretch about 50 meters long. I could hear four squirrels scrambling down a tree at the end of the path. Suddenly, the squirrels started squeaking loudly. Next thing I know, they are barreling down the tree trunk and charging down the path. . . Right. . . towards. . . us!
Clearly these squirrels were deranged and were going to attack us and possibly plunder our bodies (plundering us for what, I don’t know. I mean, they’re squirrels–I couldn’t exactly ask them). As they continued charging down the path, I frantically tried thinking of an exit plan. The path was too narrow to just let them pass. We couldn’t possibly climb the bluffs without risking breaking our necks. The squirrels were still coming closer, closer, closer and I started turning around to run away.
Suddenly, the four squirrels veered off the path and scrambled up another tree as they chased one another, still squeaking. As we passed the tree that they had climbed, it became apparent to me that they weren’t marauding squirrels, they were mating squirrels.