Survey says: Squirrels!

The votes are in!

An overwhelming 42% of you voted for squirrels and you are correct! Squirrels, by far, cause the most trouble to seminary families.

I never expected squirrels capable of the damage I have seen them bring upon the good people of seminary.

Not all squirrels are bad, though. I grew up in New Hampshire. Squirrels in their natural habitat act exactly how you would imagine them to act. They run around gathering nuts, climbing trees, and scattering away from barefoot little girls with sticks. Squirrels in unnatural habitats, i.e. the city, act very differently. Almost aggressively.

When I moved to Chicago during my high school years, I remember watching a couple of squirrels doing somersault flips against our front yard trees and in another situation, witnessing the squirrels of Lincoln Park attacking a friend of mine. At the time I thought, “City squirrels are strange.” But, as my running partner said this morning, city squirrels “are used to eating nachos and hot dogs.”

Well, I am back in a big city. And even though it is not Chicago, the squirrels are equally terrifying. I have found through my own experiences and the stories of others that they like chocolate, apple cider, and tailgating. They are scavengers and will stop at nothing to get your kitchen trash. They can chew through plastic, garbage bins, tin foil, screens, window frames, car seats, strollers, mesh, metal, wires, engine harnesses, and our Halloween pumpkins. They like to play dead. They like to defecate on the property that they have destroyed, just to let you know who’s boss.

One of our neighbors found one scampering along his dresser in the bedroom. He thought he was dreaming, so went back to sleep. Another neighbor’s car was acting strange and found that squirrels had chewed through the engine harness and much of the wiring of their car. Almost everybody has a “destroyed stroller” story or “chewed through my garbage bin” tale. Our seminary president’s wife found a family of squirrels living in her fireplace.

Squirrels have been found leaving apartment windows, drinking soda, hanging out on unsuspecting tenant’s tailgates, and dumpster diving.

And how do we seminary families feel about these cute, little, wooded creatures? I asked the ladies on campus to share their thoughts and stories about the squirrels. Here is what they concluded in a nutshell:

“Yuck! We hate squirrels!”

“I really miss the Seminary, but I REALLY do NOT miss the squirrels!!”

“Oy, squirrels are pesky, for sure!!”


So the next time you are at the park or taking a walk, and you see a cute, little, fuzzy gray squirrel scampering through the leaves, remember these stories. Walk quickly on by, avoid eye contact, hold your belongings close to you, and, for goodness sakes, don’t feed it your nachos or hot dogs.


If you are interested in reading our president’s wife’s squirrel experience you can click on this link to see her story.

Thank you to all the women who shared their squirrel stories! I loved them all! (But only in an I’m-happy-it-was-you-and-not-me sort of way.)


Filed under Homelife, Outdoors

5 responses to “Survey says: Squirrels!

  1. Walt

    Then there’s the story of the seminary student of 30+ years ago (fortunately, not any relation of yours) who came up with the bright idea of holding out his hand (an empty hand, mind you) as though he was going to feed the little rodent. The squirrel gave him the once over, smiled and without blinking an eye took the bait… or was it the finger tips? Ouch!

  2. Julia

    A squirrel chewed through my sister-in-law’s pumpkin and took up residence there. Those squirrels are crazy!

  3. Jackie O.

    Would you rather deal with squirrels or cockroaches?

  4. DR

    A vigilant pair of hawks adroitly maintains the squirrel population on the east end of campus. Recently, at the base of a tree in the park near Kaldi’s, a squirrel carcass showing evidence of being hacked to pieces by the razor-sharp beak of a formidable avian predator lay grotesquely lifeless; an omen to other fuzzy, spasmodic chatterers of branch and bough brazen enough to forage in the shadow of Luther Tower. Amen.

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