Acorn Carriers

Alice - Skowhegan, Maine
Entered on May 1, 2008

I believe in squirrels. Yes, the furry little critters that you see on your front lawn, on the path of a nature trail, or maybe only on television.

I think the squirrels have gotten it right. Sure, they are quite annoying when they eat through your brand new molding, or worse, burrow through your new wiring, reducing them to little more than glorified rats. But really now, take a trip to any gift shop or toy store, squirrels are everywhere.

While we despise their mischief from time to time, we can’t remove them from their respected place in the animal kingdom. Cute, furry, and nut-loving, these little guys have suckered us all in.

When I see winter coming to my college campus, the first snowflakes falling on the cold, grassless ground, I worry, what is going to happen to the little fellows? Will they make it through the bitter cold? Sooner or later I’m reassured as I see a squirrel here, and a squirrel there, dragging a discarded pizza crust across the snow, or carting away an entire chicken wing from the dining hall.

They are resilient little buggers and for that, they deserve our respect.

While sometimes we don’t like them, they have managed not only to maintain a place in our culture, as I’m sure the entire squirrel community is always concerned about this, but also to live each of their lives. Surviving through harsh winters, crossing roads, and navigating a trapeze of power lines, are just a few small feats, making every day a little achievement and a fine example of their resilient character.

Achievement is a major value in my life as well. Whether it is taking the hardest classes, involving myself in clubs and activities, or simply striving for the best in my day-to-day life, achievement is always on my mind. This is why I believe in squirrels, they achieve, perhaps on a much smaller scale, the same types of things I accomplish every day. I see myself in their determination, but my determination is on a higher level. They focus on survival, while I focus on more intricate success.

So yes, I believe in squirrels, not simply because they are squirrels, but because of their character. Resilient, accomplished, determined, and crafty, these gray, red, black, and brown chaps know how to get what they want. While some may fail, not burying enough acorns or not quite timing the street crossing correctly, the majority makes it. It is a testament to their accomplishments when a gardener finds bulbs scattered wildly around the garden or a driver looks back seeing a clear road where he expected to see a small, pitiful pile of fur.

This is how I live, taking every day as it comes and making it the absolute best I can, planning ahead, storing up for the winter, but still taking chances, just to see what lies beyond the pavement strip. For this, I admire, respect, and above all else, believe in squirrels.