29 August 2010

Bollywood goes Bushywood

The blockbuster Bollywood dance number that wraps up the hit Indian film import, "Slumdog Millionaire," has got nothing on these fleet-footed squirrels in love:

How sweet it is too, that this brief rodent romance is actually a commercial for the popular chocolate KitKat candy - which like "Slumdog," is also a hit in India. Created by the international advertising giant agency, JWT, the ad spot wisely shows that squirrels are more partial to nuts than chocolate (Smart squirrels: Chocolate is not a recommended food for rodents anyway). But just because squirrels aren't chocolate-lovers (and shouldn't be), doesn't mean they can't be convincing pitchmen for it. Squirrels don't drive cars either (so far as we know) but they've been effective at selling Jeep, Honda, and a variety of other auto makes. Squirrels have even been used to sell auto insurance, financial services, even chewing gum - so why not chocolate?

Why limit the advertising power of squirrels simply to that of nut salesmen (and sales women)? Their potential as trusted advertising spokesrodents is boundless.

Remember, you read it here first: The next presidential election will be different. Democrats and Republicans will shed the conventional donkeys and elephants and go tail-to-tail in their ad campaigns on national TV.

May the best squirrel win.

22 August 2010

Nothing left to give but freedom

When there is nothing left for you to do, you have to open the door. Baby squirrels don't last forever.

If you've done your job, fed them, sheltered them, healed their wounds as best as you could, watched them emerge into healthy wild animals, an open door, a hatch swinging wide, is the only thing left you can give them now. The baby squirrels are long gone; in their place are juveniles, grown and growing impatient.

Open the door. Freedom rushes in at them like a deep breath they've been waiting their whole lives to inhale. It fills them.

Open the door. Let them come flying out or - in this case, strolling out, matter-of-factly. At whatever speed they choose, they will still know what to do. They are following a map that has been etched into their bones since birth.

Say goodbye. Love them from a distance. Don't forget them, though that favor won't likely be returned. And as you leave the woods, empty-handed, move on. Close the door. They already have.

13 August 2010

The little warrior

An armada typically signifies a fleet of warships or military aircraft or, at best, just a mass of objects moving powerfully in unison.

Meet a different kind of Armada: The little squirrel pictured here, who bears that name, first graced these pages in the July 16 post as a days-old pinkie. He was the first newborn of the season for a rehabilitator friend of mine, Barbara, and his arrival in her care signaled that the seasons had already changed in the squirrel world - that they had once again arrived in the autumn cycle of their lives.

Armada can hold a syringe in his tiny paws when he nurses from it and he is slowly discovering his ever-broadening world through newly opened eyes. His fate, so far, is a happy one because he has already survived the greatest battle of all - survival. The world is not very kind to newborn wildlife that has been left injured or abandoned, often by mysterious means. For just that reason, every young squirrel needs to be more than a mere soldier. Like this fortunate little guy, every one of them needs power and strength, and the will to live and become an Armada, too.

10 August 2010

Victoria, it's no secret

Under where?

Yes, under there!

Squirrel Girls, look out below! Way below! The same manufacturer who put tighty whitey underpants on the market (and on squirrels' private areas) a few years ago - those fabulous stretchy Y-fronts for males - is back with a pleasingly pink version for the ladies. Now ultra feminine squirrels can envision themselves as nothing short of fashionable femme fayTAILS, all the while retaining a modicum of modesty.

But do female squirrels really need to cover it all up? (For that matter, do male squirrels?) The answer isn't exactly a secret, least of all Victoria's.

The Archie McPhee product catalogue is betting $6.50 - the price of these delightful dainties - that those at the apex of rodent couture will scoop these up in no time. One size fits all (they're 95 percent cotton, 5 percent spandex, just in case you need to, uh, stretch your limits a bit after having snarfed everything up in a late-night acorn binge the night before.)

Sorry girls, no thong version is available. And there's no talk of a matching underwire SqunderBra for those four pairs of teats. At least not yet, anyway.

09 August 2010

The Enrico Caruso of Squirrels

Singing his treetop arias, he might well be the most operatic rodent on the planet:

Squirrel of the Month

This beautiful young squirrel most certainly captured the ears - and then the heart - of the California homeowner who decided to share the private serenade with the readers of his local paper - an appropriately named publication called The Acorn.

People who think squirrels can't speak for themselves had better listen up, and listen good. Squirrels don't just sing for their supper, they sing for warnings, for matings and yes, even - as in this case - for our attention.

This particular squirrel, however, may have been singing for his agent.

After landing in a prominent space on a page in the local weekly, the squirrel is likely to want his next public appearance on nothing less than a late-night talk show beside a host such as Jay Leno, David Letterman or Jimmy Fallon.

He might just get it too. Recall that "The Ed Sullivan Show," TV's popular 1960s fixture, had Topo Gigio, the singing Italian mouse. Then there was Alvin and the Chipmunks - a group that had their own Christmas album and, more recently, a musical film that included a "Squeakquel."

The 21st century might just be ready for another rodent with a set of musical pipes. I predict this guy's first recording could go platinum overnight. Or at least eastern grey.