**********************************My squirrels come when I whistle for them...
Thursday, October 2, 2008
From the Princetonian Beware the ninja squirrels By Anu Kahn Contributor Published: Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 I would love to ramble on about a million and one different Princeton perks and privileges: the food, the dorms, the people, the clubs, the culture and maybe even the classes. None of these topics, however, strikes me as particularly shocking. Honestly, only one thing about Princeton has really shocked me. The squirrels. I hail from lovely suburban Massachusetts and have stared down my fair share of furry, tree-dwelling, bushy-tailed rodents, but the Princetonian squirrels are a breed apart. They are not only plentiful but also disturbingly large and freakishly aggressive. During the second week of school, I was ambling down to Frist Campus Center, minding my own business, when I saw a squirrel scamper onto my stretch of sidewalk. Right behind the squirrel, walking toward me, was a well-dressed, middle-aged gentleman. Here was my dilemma: I could continue walking toward the squirrel and hope that it wouldn't attack me, or I could swerve into the elder gentleman's path, forcing him to walk on the street but putting a wide berth between the squirrel and me. I did what any polite Princeton student would do: I swerved in front of the unsuspecting passer-by, keeping one eye firmly fixed on the furry little beast to my left. The gentleman, observing the squirrel, chuckled. For some reason, he didn't seem surprised that I had risked pushing him into the street to avoid an apparently harmless woodland creature. This episode was only the beginning of my misgivings about Princeton squirrels. After that incident, I started seeing squirrels all over campus. I'd never noticed before, but they seem to have the run of the place. If I had a nickel for every time I've seen one of those fleet-footed devils leap out of a tree, I'd have an awful lot of nickels. Neither tree, nor bush, nor grassy knoll is safe from squirrelly invasion. Moreover, not they have pure strength in addition to their strength in numbers. By some freak of New Jersey nature, the Princetonian squirrels have reached roughly the size and weight of small puppies. (Note to Paris Hilton: perfect accessory for next season's Coach tote?) Far more terrifying than the sheer volume of squirrels and far more disturbing than their Schwarzenegger-esque size are the apparent ninjas of the campus squirrel community: the black squirrels. If you've seen one, you know the terror they can inspire with just a flick of their beady black eyes or a mere twitch of their ebony flanks. Last week, I was walking past Alexander Beach when I saw a runty squirrel scratching around for some nuts. Like the dastardly villain from a Charlie Chaplin film, a black squirrel darted out from behind a tree, ran down the runty squirrel, stole his stash of nuts and fled the scene. I watched the whole process, utterly aghast. The most important thing I've learned in my first few weeks at Princeton is simple: Beware the ninja squirrels. Now you've been warned as well.