Posted by: Kate | April 23, 2009

Unexpectedly Vicious Squirrel

Long, long ago, when I was 9ish, we lived near a busy road.  We moved around a lot up until I was about 13, a series of apartments until my parents bought the house where my mother still lives.  Some were decent places… this one, less so.  Not a great neighborhood, etc.  But even though I lived in something like 12 different places before high school,I never had to change school districts.

Anyway, one spring day, a reckless or perhaps parasuicidal squirrel got hit by a car, but not killed – broke a back leg instead. A neighbor (need I add “weird?”) decided to nurse it back to health and kept it in a shoebox, fed it… I don’t know, squirrel food.  She wanted it to be tamed, so she would ask the neighborhood kids to pet it.  The first time I did, it reeled back and bit me. Just overwhelmed or something, not rabid. I hope.  I seem to still be alive.

What’s your weirdest encounter with the World of Nature?  Seems like everyone has a story, from Willem accidentally killing a baby bird because his parents let him feed it bologna to Gretchen sternly disciplining an overenthusiastic swan.

And I think Unexpectedly Vicious Squirrel would be a great name for a band. UVS, for short.



  1. That’s exactly how my now-wife and sister first met! They took it to the vet, though (poor outcome, I’m afraid)

  2. Gosh…I have too many of those stories to count. My first animal memory outside of the animals that lived in my house growing up (nothing too weird, cats, dogs…and a duck) was a visit to our local mall- a very tiny local mall. Some Jack Hanna-type had brought a couple tiger cubs to visit the local shoppers. (I’m sure there are laws about this now) Well, I pet the little cub while they let my mother hold him…then he swiped my pacifier out of my mouth & put it in his mouth! We have pictures of me screaming b/c the tiger took my damn pacifier and WOULDN’T give it back. Greedy bastard.

  3. When I was in third grade, my family moved to an older home, in a neighborhood with older homes. The next door lady brought over a plastic margarine container one morning. With a dead bat inside. For me. I took it to school for show-and-tell and my mom told me not to bring it home. I gave it to Jerry Cook, my crush.

  4. I found a very large Bearded Dragon, ‘frozen’ on our patio once. If cornered, they refuse to move and pretend they’re invisible. In an attempt to be kind, I took a little piece of raw meat and offered it to said lizard. He jumped at the meat, nipped my finger and wouldn’t let go. I had to swing my arm and flick him off and as he flew through the air, my father came round the corner and declared “Wow, I didn’t know they could jump!” I let them find their own grub these days! I have more. Maybe we should Madhouse this one!

  5. I partially ran over an echidna a couple of years ago.
    Got in the car, put it in reverse, it wouldn’t go. Put in drive, went forward, so tried reverse again, only to feel this little bump. Got halfway out the driveway saw this echidna sitting there so rang work. Eventaully got down to work to get a box, went home and tried to put it in the box but it’d wedged its little nose into a crack in the wall. Eventually got the little bugger in the box, took to work to ring the vet, who told me to ring the zoo. Zoo told me to feed it horse mince (I’m in the country, but I can’t exactly pop down to the local butchers for that!) or flies, and to put it in the garden when I went home to lunch and it should shuffle off. (We’d figured out he wasn’t really hurt much) Dopey thing did shuffle off in the end, straight back under the same tyre he’d wedged himself under to start with! So I walked back to work, walked home that night to find DH putting round the corner of the fence (and pointing his head in the ‘away’ direction). Went out half an hour later and it had disappeared.

  6. One good story involves my brother. I was 12ish, so he was like 5ish. We were in Florida at some touristy place and they had wildlife that you could feed, and little gumball-machine-type things that you could put in a quarter and get a handful of animal feed. There were emus. We told him to feed them. He said he’d get bit. We assured him he wouldn’t. So he trusted us, and then he got bit by the emu.

    The other was courtesy of my old cat. After a couple months living in our house in NJ, he snuck out an open door and proceeded to capture a blue jay, which he brought inside as an offering to me. Problem (?) was, he didn’t even injure the bird while capturing him, so we ended up with a live, healthy blue jay in our house.

  7. When I was in college, a bird knocked a squirrel’s nest out of a tree in my parents’ backyard, spilling three tiny babies out onto the porch. My folks put the babies in a box on the roof, hoping Mama would come pick them up, but after a few hours, two had died, so they brought the third into the house and set about looking on the internet for info about raising a squirrel.

    Newton, as she came to be called (after Sir Isaac Newton) lived in the house with my parents for a couple of months while she grew up. She would sit on Mom’s shoulder and was bottlefed with kitten formula until she was old enough to eat nuts and seeds.

    When she was getting older, my parents built a squirrel box on the tree near the porch, and she raised a litter there before moving on. They learned from her to come knock on the kitchen window for peanuts, so for three years we had squirrel beggars constantly. Sometimes if the window was open, they’d walk right in and make for the bag of peanuts!

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