Tactics of the Tahoe Squirrel

10 Aug

Summer is starting to wrap up–at least here.  And it reminds me of swimming at Lake Tahoe.  A big part of the swimming is either elbowing for space on the beach (California side) or hiking to and from the water (Nevada side).  A second huge aspect of swimming in Lake Tahoe is the chipmunks and squirrels.  These guys are no strangers to people–and especially the beach snacks they inevitably bring with them.

sqirrel baby

Here is their procedure:

-First they send a small cute shy one out.  It’s small, it’s uncertain.  It’s a crowd-pleaser.

-“Look he’s hungry,” you and your group say, “awwww–give the little guy a cracker.”

-Tiny squirrel responds, “Yum, I’ve never had a cracker!”

-Then there’s 3 squirrels standing in various places looking at your group.

-You throw a couple of more crackers out–not wanting to be unfair.

-Then things escalate a little and the big squirrels are stealing all the crackers from the little cute ones.squirrel fight

-All the time, more and more squirrels are appearing out of seemingly nowhere.

-You begin to think you’d better cut them off because the small squirrels aren’t fast or tough enough to get ANY.

-You begin to think maybe they’ve done this before and are probably getting fat.

-More and more are showing up and you and your group realize you are outnumbered.

-Then, realizing feeding time is over, the squirrels are looking through your bag trying to get their own crackers.

-They form a squirrel posse’ surrounding your group and using intimidation tactics.squirrel group

-Then, they have sticks and rocks and are threatening you for crackers.

-They have brass knuckles and surround you demanding crackers.

squirrel war

Well, you get my point.  There is no such thing as one lone cute little squirrel.  So the locals quickly learn not to feed the little creatures.  But we do laugh when we see visitors (or stupid Californians who are always inept) feeding them and the resulting fall out when they do.  Oh and fair warning–don’t touch them–they carry zoonotic disease.  True story.

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