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Hartselle Enquirer

Nothing squirrely around here

By Staff
Leada Devaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Warning: If you are a lover of furry, little woodland creatures, stop reading this right now.
There – now you can't say I haven't warned you. I've learned from experience people can take their love of animals quite seriously. For example, I once wrote a column about how I hate cats. I thought the cat lovers were going to string me up from the scratching post.
So, lovers of furry, woodland creatures, you have your warning. Quit reading here…
…because I hate squirrels, too.
Squirrels are really nothing more than rats with furry tails. If someone sees a rat running through their yard, they will scream and run. But for some reason, if that rat has a furry tail and an acorn in its mouth, it's the cutest thing you've ever seen and destined for the next Disney move.
I think this hatred of squirrels dates back to my time on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Montevallo.
UM is a beautiful campus. Upon their first visit, people often say how it looks just like a college should look – complete with rolling lawns and ample, arching trees.
Best of all, it's pretty much a pedestrian campus, meant to be walked , not driven. Students spend an awful lot of time negotiating their way across the university's quaint brick streets and under those tall trees.
Of course, along with all this quaintness and high arching trees are about a million squirrels.
And the squirrels at Montevallo are no bird brains. They are evil, conniving, dead-to-right weapons of mass destruction, at least those of the acorn variety.
I cannot tell you how many times during my years at the university I was pegged with an acorn launched by some menacing squirrel.
You would just be walking along, minding your own business, when out of nowhere a nut would hit you on the head. You would look up just in time to see a fuzzy-tailed vermin jumping through the trees, searching for his next victim.
By the time I graduated college, I had become a full-on squirrel hater. Keep your Chip and Dale cartoons to yourself, thank you very much.
Now, all these years after college, I'm still contending with squirrels. It seems that they have sensed my animosity and decided to hang out in my yard. They jump from tree to tree, managing to miss the power lines but still able to find the bird seed I have put out for those creatures I do like. The other morning, I walked out to find one sitting on the roof of my car.
He looked at me.
I looked at him.
And he ran away.
Perhaps he recognized me from Montevallo.