Squirrels Ruin Christmas
I think squirrels just might be my totem animal. Although I am prone to Grinch-like qualities when it comes to the holidays, I have never stolen any Christmas displays. I cannot say the same about my furry rodent friends.
See, Christmas falls right around the time when squirrels have been burying a lot of food, and holiday light bulbs are strangely acorn shaped. To that end, there have been several reports of squirrels stealing and burying Christmas bulbs. One squirrel in Seattle stole over 150 light bulbs in 24 hours, and even Boston Common’s Christmas tree was affected by squirrel thefts.
Karin Brulliard at the Washington Post wrote a great summary on this very topic (and I’m excited to say I got to chat with her about it).
I did say that I don’t think squirrels have a vendetta against Christmas, but perhaps they just wish everyone would say “Happy Holidays?”
Squirrels might have ruined Christmas, but Christmas saved one squirrel. When a squirrel got stuck down a chimney, a home owner provided him with a string of Christmas lights to shimmy his way to freedom.
Power outages and fires
Twenty customers in Kansas City lost power thanks to a squirrel, but squirrels recently left over a thousand folks without power in the UK. Squirrels caused fires in Fairbury, Nebraska and Allentown, PA (subsequently leaving 7000 folks without power).
This German squirrel was too large to sneak out of a manhole. Even olive oil wasn’t enough to slide this guy out, although he was eventually rescued and treated for hypothermia.
And in Boston, this squirrel was too large for the dog bone he stuck his head into.
This squirrel got into a squirrel-proof bird feeder, but then could not get out.
On Wiggum Drive, in Leesburg, Virginia, animal control was called to help a squirrel who got stuck in the motor of a dryer.
Finally, a couple thought they had run over a squirrel. Turned out he got stuck under the car “bonnet” and took a several-hours long ride. The squirrel was rescued and did not appear to be harmed by the hitchhiking incident.
Squirrels and the law
A squirrel scratched and bit a contractor who was working on a home in Virginia. The man has since sued the home owners for $90,000, claiming that the squirrel is their pet and that they are responsible for his behavior. The home owners claim no such ownage of the squirrel.
A few years ago, a New York lawsuit over a "squirrel slam" (basically, a squirrel killing, I mean hunting, contest) was dismissed. But recently, the state appellate court determined that Justice Punch violated the plaintiff's rights when he dismissed their case. The squirrel slam is going back to court.
A man got mad at his brother, and then taped a knife to his hand. Apparently intending to stab his brother, he instead went outside and stabbed a squirrel. He was charged with animal cruelty. And I can't make this stuff up!
One squirrel came down a chimney and couldn't find his way back out. While inside, he destroyed some Christmas lights and chewed on a Fender guitar. He burrowed into a loveseat, rendering it useless. The squirrel eventually went back outside.
When this guy took his Lexus in for a tune-up, he got more than he bargained for. A squirrel was kind enough to leave him several walnuts under the hood.
A concerned citizen contacted police in Nevada to report a squirrel who was acting very oddly before it died. There were also calls to police regarding "Christmas lights from a house ...blinding drivers passing by," "someone drinking whiskey," and that someone's "crazy girlfriend was at it again, acting up and throwing things around."
A squirrel has been brazenly walking into a convenience store and helping himself to chocolate Kinder and Crunchie bars without paying. Attempts to retrieve stolen goods by chasing the thief were not successful.
It's not clear if squirrels are deliberately trying to harm humans, but they are gnawing on trees along a freeway in Ireland, which caused several branches to fall in front of cars as they drive by. The treacherous situation led officials to cut down several hundred trees. The resulting stumps have left locals less than thrilled.
A bar in Manchester, England has been a victim of a robbery - two lamps featuring taxidermied squirrels were recently stolen, and apparently the waiting list for replacements is four months long. The owners fear the lamps (or rather the dead squirrel bodies) will be too damaged to repair.