12 May 2008

Life imitates squirrels

Researchers have done a fine job in discerning the clever and resourceful survival tactics of certain ground squirrels out West: These small creatures fool their predators by adopting the predators' own scent (in this case, the predators are snakes) by chewing on their discarded skins and then licking their own fur.
They thus saturate themselves with Eau de Slithering Viper, or some other life-sustaining cologne. And snake smell is, to them, the very breath of life.
Corporate America, I guess, is no different. The company where I work (no stranger to snakes of its own, by the way) has been sold twice in six months - not a very happy prospect for a person such as myself, concerned about job security and the future.
But I am not the only one, it seems, feeling preyed upon. Our most senior executives apparently have been taking their cues from the invaders. Not long after we were acquired by an eccentric tycoon with a penchant for dressing in worn bluejeans, our ultra-conservative top executive started trading his Brooks Brothers finery for open, tie-less shirts and a lot more of the "slouchy" look.
I couldn't help but think of the snakes and the squirrels. (Of course, our top exec didn't chew on the billionaire tycoon's skin, so far as I know, and then lick himself all over. But he did adopt his sartorial "skin," nonetheless.)
All in all, I would rather work for a company owned by squirrels than by snakes. At the very least, you know that benevolent rodent ownership will permit, if not encourage you to store more than a few nuts in your pension plans for the lean years ahead.
And thus, save your own skin against the toughest predator of all - the economy.


gwenboleyn said...

Hi, I would love to subscribe to your blog, but I dont know how, eek!



Poetikat said...

So, some enterprising squirrel could become a "Snake-oil salesman" and make a killing.
(You've got to love the corporate world, don't you?... Been there, done that, got the corporate branding mug, pen and t-shirt.)


Anonymous said...

Hey, wonderful comments. Please check out the blog,
This is a similar treatment. Don't we love our bushy tailed little monkeys. We have fox squirrels here in Florida, quite a sight to see a squirrel the size of a cat sitting in a birds nest eating the eggs.
A Nature Lover

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Haha! What a great posts. Thanks for the lessons on squirrel survival and the corporate world.

odd facts said...

Never thought about it that way. It works though.

Keri said...

cute blog! our property management services coordinator rescues opossums and is keeping a blog about it. long live the "rodents" of the great outdoors!

LeaKarts said...

My boyfriend is obsessed with squirrels (well, maybe "obsessed" is a little exaggerated), so of course when I saw your blog I had to check it out. I love your corporate job metaphor, and I am enjoying all of the photos. I'm off to read more of your posts!

squirrelmama said...

Hurrah for the rodents of the great outdoors indeed, Keri. Everyone needs someone to look after them - even if only for a little while.
Kat and LGS, I think you can both read between the lines pretty well about what my life in the jaws of corporate America has been. Ugh.
Gwen, thanks for your interest in subscribing! At the very bottom of the page, if you scroll all the way down, there is an option that says Subscribe: Posts, and I think you can follow that link to get the updated posts connected to your reader. (At least I think that is how it works).
Chaz and Oddfacts, thanks both of you for stopping by and reading, I appreciate your kind words too. Chaz, I will be visiting your blog shortly, you sound like a kindred spirit.

June Michelle said...

I have lots of squirrels in my garden - They are always burying nuts in the lawn and the flower beds ... I forgive them of course :) I live in North East UK and the squirrels I get are grey. I have seen a black squirrel on tv but we don't have them this far north

June :)

squirrelmama said...

The greys and beautiful and charming - and clever - though I know all too well how they are on the outs right now with the government and those who fret over the fate of the reds. I hope there will be a humane resolution to that. I hope also you get to see a black squirrel soon - they are magnificent!

mrinz said...

Love the analogy!

Charles Towne said...

Dear Squirrelmama, You are so right when you speak of kindred spirits. For several years I burned the candle at both ends running an animal orphanage in Michigan. I reared and released all sort of varmints but one of my favorites is and always will be porcupines, they are absolutely hilarious. Yep, prickly but hilarious. I have raised badgers, another favorite as well as black bear cubs. I love what you are doing with your blog, keep up the good work. Please visit my blog and leave a link so my readers will be able to easily find you.
Keep up the good work squirrelmama, Chaz