Friday, September 7, 2007


I've always thought they were cute little creatures; scurrying around trying to gather nuts with their brown furry tails following behind, and their whiskers enhancing their playfullness. They are everywhere at Vanderbilt, there are literally thousands of them. Initially I was very excited by this. I would walk the four blocks from the parking garage to the nursing building and pass hundreds of scurrying squirrels every morning and afternoon. I temporarily imagined I was at Walden pond and feelings of great peace overwhelmed me.

But as the morning walks became more routine (translation: less Walden like) I noticed that the squirrels weren't so cute. In fact, squirrels are really just like rats only with cuter tails; they are very much like rodents. They scurry everywhere. You can here them rustling in the grass and scraping their teeth on nuts. They run past people to get to their favorite spots or to the lastest fallen nut. They seem wild and almost rabid.

I was following aproximately 20 feet behind a fellow nursing student one morning who kept reacting fearfully to the squirrels. I laughed inside myself thinking, "who should be afraid of a squirrel?" ha ha ha. Moments later as I continued on my walk a scurrying squirrel lunged at me. It lept off the ground into the air straight in my direction.

I screamed. Yes, I, Tara Sanders screamed in fear of a tiny "playful" squirrel. Luckily their was a tree between myself and the squirrel which intercepted it's lunge at me and the squirrel stood still on the side of the tree as though I wouldn't notice it.

The girl who I had just silently laughed at of course turned around with big eyes and witnessed the whole thing. She then slowly turned around and was silently laughing at me.

Now when I walk to class I watch the squirrels, fearing an oncoming lunge. I hear them rustling in the grass but I now know that they are really stalking me, waiting for the right moment. I wonder if there was any hunting at Walden...


Shirley said...

After reading this, I see the squirrel in my back yard in a whole different light. OMG, I've never seen an attack squirrel before! Glad he missed you!

mtnman said...

After spending far too much time on that campus I learned the same thing. None ever lunged at me, but many people I knew had similar experiences. One idea was that the grounds crew never lets a leaf fall and so the squirrels have to work harder for their goodies.

Chara said...

WHen I was at Lipscomb the squirrels would steal your lunch if you looked away for too long. They loved french fries.

Thanks for posting this- I got a pretty big laugh.

Laura and John said...

wow, I really wish I had seen that!