Before we talk about squirrels, I want to make it clear that I do not have a fascination with squirrels. I do not want to be a squirrel. I do not envy all the scurrying and twitching and tree-jumping and nut gathering. No one ever brings a squirrel a latte which is one of the many reasons that I am not cut out for squirrel life. However, I think about squirrels from time to time. Tuesday morning was one of those times and I began to ponder the squirrel community. I began to think of the squirrels not as long-tailed rodents that watch me suspiciously every time I leave the house but as "a people". Do squirrels play roles? Do they have jobs? Do they make fun of the squirrels with the fucked up tails? I knew that I could look all of that up on the internet (well, not the tail part) but I was interested in these complex issues in a more abstract sense.
Of course, you can only think about this for so long before you begin to wonder what role you would play in the squirrel community. Right? Everyone does that right? At first, I thought I would be Queen of the Squirrels. Squirrels should definitely have a queen. Bees have queens and they are smaller and buzzier. I allowed myself to imagine myself as Queen for a few moments. I didn't picture myself in a teeny tiny squirrel crown or anything - that would be silly. I just imagined being the head of all the squirrels and them coming up to me and asking what to do next.
"Queen, should I grab that bagel and drag it up the tree even though I'll look ridiculous?"
"Queen, what do I do now? Huh? What do I do now?"
"Queen, shall I brush your luxurious tail?"
I briefly enjoyed the imagined power. I could see myself instructing my furry minions to chase and terrorize the humans while I laughed but, in the end, I realized that I would never be the Queen of the Squirrels. I would more likely be the Queen's right hand squirrel. I would totally be the kind of squirrel to do the queen's bidding. I would order people around for her and diffuse situations for her and entertain her with my nut themed humor.
I wondered if there was something wrong with me. I mean...who creates an entire imagined Land of Squirrels and then doesn't even want to oversee it? The right hand squirrel - that's who.
By now, you are probably expecting a point to this discussion of squirrels which is weird because - at this very moment - I'm realizing that I don't have one. I guess we can just all think of squirrels together. Or maybe we should all buy a squirrel a latte. Or maybe I'll throw that bag of leftover Christmas nuts out for the squirrels and be Queen for a day.