8 responses

  1. I have to admit I ate squirrel many years ago to impress a friend. Not bad– tastes like chicken! I much prefer feeding and interacting with them.

  2. Sir –

    May I commend to your attention the short story “Hide And Seek” by Arthur C. Clarke? You will find an incidental mention of squirrels . . .


  3. Craig,

    Thanks so much. And for the rest of the readers, here is a snippet:

    We were walking back through the woods when Kingman saw the gray squirrel. Our bag was a small but varied one -three grouse, four rabbits (one, I am sorry to say, an infant in arms) and a couple of pigeons. And contrary to certain dark forecasts, both the dogs were still alive.
    The squirrel saw us at the same moment. It knew that it was marked for immediate execution as a result of the damage it had done to the trees on the estate, and perhaps it had lost close relatives to Kingman’s gun. In three leaps it had reached the base of the nearest tree, and vanished behind it in a flicker of gray. We saw its face once more, appearing for a moment round the edge of its shield a dozen feet from the ground; but though we waited, with guns leveled hopefully at various branches, we never saw it again.
    Kingman was very thoughtful as we walked back across the lawn to the magnificent old house. He said nothing as we handed our victims to the cook-who received them without much enthusiasm-and only emerged from his reverie when we were sitting in the smoking room and he remembered his duties as a host.
    “That tree-rat,” he said suddenly (he always called them “tree rats,” on the grounds that people were too sentimental to shoot the dear little squirrels), “it reminded me of a very peculiar experience that happened shortly before I retired. Very shortly indeed, in fact.”
    “I thought it would,” said Carson dryly. I gave him a glare: he’d been in the Navy and had heard Kingman’s stories before, but they Were still new to me.
    “Of course,” Kingman remarked, slightly nettled, “if you’d rather I didn’t . . . ”
    “Do go on,” I said hastily. “You’ve made me curious. What connection there can possibly be between a gray squirrel and the Second Jovian War I can’t imagine.”

    All the best.


    PS Clarke was such a fascinating person. And funny too. When someone had the temerity to ask Clarke whether he was gay (which, of course, he was), he responded: “No, merely mildly cheerful.”

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