Stay Away From the Squirrels

Stay Away From the Squirrels

Smart, sneaky, stalkers. Predatory, pensive, pudgy. Only one creature is ferocious enough to embody all of these characteristics. Only one creature has the ability to infiltrate the whole University, disguised among the foliage, waiting to pounce on you.

What on earth is this camouflaged, ambushing creature? Why, it’s a squirrel of course.

Most students on campus have had at least one negative interaction with a Monmouth Squirrel. See, a MU Squirrel is not your average squirrel, although it looks the same to the naked eye.

Both an average squirrel and a MU squirrel are about three inches in height when standing on all fours, have grayish-brownish fur and fluffy tails. Each may look like a cuddly animal, and may even come across as playful as two or more may leap and bound from tree to tree while engaging in a game of tag.

“Oh, that’s cute,” one might think as he or she observes this game of tag. But, despite the fact that these creatures seem harmless, we MU students know differently. We’ve experienced the dangerous effects of a MU squirrel, and now we know not to cross them.

Every student on this campus has heard the story. It probably spread faster than the recap of a girl fight during lunch at your high school. This story, however, is more frightening and causes more disbelief than that of a girl fight.

A MU student was leisurely walking down one of the paths on campus continuing on her merry way. During her walk, she had some garbage that she needed to throw out, so she walked towards the closest trash can. Absentmindedly, she tossed her trash into the can, and expected to continue on her journey.

Although this story was probable to have a happy ending, it did not. As she threw out her trash, a MU squirrel (remember, they mean business) jumped out of the can and leaped at the girl’s head, scratching her face severely. Thankfully the student was all right with the exception of a few scratches on her face. She did have to go to the hospital to receive a tetanus shot though.

Now, some readers may not believe this story. “It’s too elaborate,” you may think, or “it’s too unrealistic.”

I thought the same thing, too, once. However, my friends and I were walking back from the Dining Hall one time and were discussing this MU legend. To our surprise, a group of girls behind us chimed in to our conversation.

One of them said that the girl in the story, the one who had the squirrel jump out at her, was her roommate at the time.

Now that the story is corroborated, there are a few warning signs and tips for dealing with a MU squirrel.

  1. Be alert. A MU squirrel is never in a rush. They will wait in a trash can, on a tree branch, behind a bush, and so on, for hours at a time. They are patient enough to not be concerned about when to strike, as long as they have the opportunity to attack suddenly.
  2. Be conscious of the time. This tip pertains to both the time of day and the time of year. Just as humans have designated times for eating, so do squirrels. MU squirrels have the luxury of having the Dining Hall on campus, meaning they see an influx of people arrive there at pretty steady times throughout the day. Try to eat at less conventional meal times. If this is not possible, follow tips one and three. Additionally, it is less likely to encounter a squirrel in the dead of winter than it is to see them right before the cold months are upon us. Be extra wary of squirrels during these times. If you expect them, you cannot be startled (or hurt) by them.
  3. Have a buddy (or two, or three). Like most woodland creatures, squirrels do not necessarily enjoy large groups of people. Groups are harder to infiltrate; more eyes are more vigilant. Traveling with a friend or a group is best for everyone, because it is easier to spot a squirrel, and thus, easier to avoid it.

Following these simple steps will greatly diminish your chances of being attacked by a tricky, sly MU squirrel. Good luck to us all.