04 October 2007

Squirrel Appreciation Week (Eve)

And now, let us appreciate squirrels.

What a concept. And just in case we needed a little nudge in that direction, Squirrel Appreciation Week gets going Oct. 7 and continues through Oct. 13. Have you sent your holiday squirrel cards to friends? Completed your Squirrel Appreciation Week last-minute shopping? Are you saving your singing voice for all that Squirrel Appreciation Week caroling? ("Deck the trees with corn and walnuts, fa-la-la-la-la.....") Will you go trick or treating in your squirrel suit? (The squirrels do that, of course, every day of the year at our back door - and probably yours too).

For those of us who don't need a holiday to remind us - but appreciate that such an occasion exists - let's look at a few folks who appreciate squirrels in their own way, for better or worse.

There's the Idaho businesswoman who launched a dog cookie product, "Nutty Squirrels," tasting like nuts but shaped like you-know-whats. She's apparently doing well and, who knows, maybe the baked version will keep dogged pursuits away from the furred version.

We appreciate her well-intentioned effort, anyway.

There's the state of Pennsylvania, which just this week added the northern flying squirrel to its list of endangered species. The little northern flyer is outnumbered by the southern flyer in that huge state, and the state has grown concerned about this rare creature growing even rarer as forests continue to come down in the name of "progress."

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the action.

There are the Texas A&M students who are making use of fox squirrels in the school's Wildlife Department Aggie Squirrel project, using GPS collars to track and study them - in a deliberately humane fashion.

We appreciate their "do no harm" approach.

There's Robin Page, a columnist for the Daily Mail in the UK, who recently blasted the government's suggestion that the invasive, non-native eastern grey population be controlled via contraceptive distribution, suggesting instead a massive nationwide squirrel shootout - turning the fruits of that campaign into "squirrel burgers." He adds that he could appreciate a supper that included a casserole with some nice squirrel burger.

And we would appreciate Mr. Page's silence on this matter. Besides, it's not polite to talk with a mouth full of ground rodent.

And finally, there's a new DVD out, "The Best of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Vol. 2" replaying the adventures of almost every boomer's favorite squirrel and moose from childhood.

We'll appreciate some time, eventually, to kick back and watch some of those vintage, classic shows. Perhaps when the busy social whirl of "Squirrel Appreciation Week" is done with.

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