A recent article in the student newspaper at the university where I work really jumped out at me, reminding me of some posts I wrote on my previous blog that date all the way back to 2005 and 2007 respectively. (More on the old blog in a minute.)
Via The Western Front:
It was an epic battle. Four against two, the odds were unbelievable. But the underdogs prevailed. The black squirrels won the fight, chasing off the common western gray squirrels.
Western biology major Sarah Moorman’s story of the black squirrels is one of many. The black squirrels running throughout Western’s campus and Bellingham do not go unnoticed, Moorman said.
The black squirrels are a dark morph of the eastern gray squirrel that is native to eastern North America.
“They’re ninja-like,” Moorman said. “Black squirrels rock.”
The ninja metaphor is an apt one. They are, indeed, so very ninja, as you can see in the above photo, an image that perfectly captures the black squirrel’s ninja essence.
I watch these nimble critters all the time, from my office window or as I walk across campus, and I, too, have seen them chasing the poor gray squirrels around, in what I always interpreted as a benign, playful manner.
But let us not forget that ninjas were highly skilled assassins, as we consider the dark side of this story:
The eastern gray is native to eastern North America, but it has been introduced to many parts of the west, [Huxley College Professor John McLaughlin] said.
[The black] squirrel has displaced the western gray squirrel, which is native to the Bellingham area, and most of Washington, he said.
The black squirrels are aggressive toward people, said Western sophomore Krista Vestman. One friend had a black squirrel attack her feet while she was walking across campus, she said.
“We were walking and this squirrel started getting at her feet,” Vestman said. “She was like, ‘What is this? Squirrels are supposed to be afraid of me.’ They are out to get us.”
Ah ha! Ninja squirrels attack again!
If you check out the 2005 post I did at my old blog, Transcendental Floss, you’ll see it was about a news story concerning a pack of vicious squirrels that attacked and killed an innocent dog in a park in Russia.
The squirrels were black. The squirrels were ninjas!
Now, my 2007 post concerned another squirrel attack, this time in Germany, a single squirrel working alone. Admittedly, the source article for that post does not indicate the color of the squirrel, but really, can there be any doubt?
I’m telling you, we ignore this growing threat from Sciurus Niger at our own peril.
Wikipedia reports that while the ninjas live mostly in North America, in some areas in England, where black squirrels used to be non-existent, they are now as abundant as the grays that have been there since the end of the 19th century.
AND, Wikipedia doesn’t even mention their presence in Germany or Russia, suggesting that these black menaces are using their ninja stealth tactics to covertly cross the English Channel on their way to eastern Europe and beyond.
Just remember, they want us to think they’re cute. Don’t fall for it and keep your guard up.
(Note: The late, great Transcendental Floss, where I posted under the pseudonym “Gonzo”, is no longer a live site. It is not maintained and comments left there will not be seen. So, if you’d like to comment on this topic, please do so here. Thanks!)