I’m sure almost all of us have seen a dead squirrel or two. Driving down the road is the prime time to see one. I can’t be sure, but if you’re from Texas you’ve probably seen more dead armadillos. However, being from Georgia, I’ve seen hundreds of dead squirrels over my lifetime.
I don’t claim to know what goes on inside a squirrel’s head, if anything goes on at all, but I’m sure I could guess the circumstances that lead to their deaths.
A cute squirrel will live his whole life on one side of the road. Eventually, he begins to wonder if the grass really is greener on the other side. It may take him several minutes, but he works up the courage to find out. He hesitantly steps onto the pavement and pauses. With his little heart pounding like a drum in a marching band, he begins to race to the green grass ahead.
Suddenly, a seed of doubt begins forming in his tiny brain. What if all of the nuts were on his side? What if some vicious predator lives over there? The doubt grows larger and larger until the squirrel begins to panic and his brain goes into overdrive.
He freezes and then hops this way and that. The unsuspecting driver may hit the brakes but can’t avoid the panicked squirrel. SPLAT! No more squirrel.
As a driver, I’ve had to slow down or swerve to avoid hitting squirrels. I haven’t hit one yet—knock on wood. However, in my time at Baylor, I’ve noticed the lack of dead squirrels around campus.
While most squirrels seem to have the experience I described above, Baylor squirrels do not. For those who take the time to watch, most squirrels run around aimlessly. Baylor squirrels move with purpose.
I’ve never seen a Baylor squirrel almost get hit by a car. I have a friend who said he almost ran over a squirrel with his bike, but I don’t pin that on the squirrel’s stupidity, as I will discuss shortly.
Walk across campus and make sure to look at the squirrels. If you look for them, you’ll find them. Most of the time, Baylor squirrels will not run in front of you. In fact, they might freeze as you approach. They cautiously watch you until you pass. Some of the squirrels know you aren’t a threat and make a mad dash for their destination anyway.
However, they will not flinch about uncertainly. Even if you attempt to chase them, they will run you in circles. It’s almost as though they know you don’t have a plan to catch them and they can easily elude you.
But have you noticed how they watch us?
One day I was walking to the dining hall when I felt little eyes on me. I looked around and only saw a squirrel in a tree. It seemed to stare directly at me. Instances such as these have happened various times and at various locations on campus.
Now I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means. However, I do acknowledge that these squirrels are different from the squirrels back home. I’ve heard reports of squirrels throwing nuts at passing students. In regards to my friend who almost ran over a squirrel with his bike, I’m almost sure the squirrel planted itself there.
Last year, some friends and I attended the showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” on Fountain Mall. It got me thinking that if there ever were an attack, the Baylor squirrels would lead it. Forget the birds. We’ve got genius squirrels to deal with.
The squirrels chatter away to each other as if in some kind of code. They’ve probably stashed away enough nuts to last them through a war. Imagine if they could cut us off from the dining halls and the SUB.
What if they blocked us from leaving campus by dashing into the streets and causing drivers to swerve into trees and posts? They could barricade us in!
This seems far-fetched, I know. However, it could be true. Just imagine the possibilities of having genius squirrels on campus.
The next time you chase a Baylor squirrel, just remember, it could be plotting against you.
Linda Wilkins is a sophomore journalism major from Tyrone, Ga. She is the city editor for the Lariat.