Domesticating the Squirrel

I always wanted a pet squirrel. I was insistent. My parents couldn’t say no. Hence, they were both grievously injured.

I mean, I wanted a tame squirrel. You’d have to be a fool to bring a black-market wild squirrel into the house. Just the sound of it in the birthday gift box was frightening. You could hear those talons working. I had my folks open the box. Hence their grievous wounds.

But a tame squirrel is not to be found on Amazon, nor even in a lab. I expected my parents to initiate a breeding program (not of themselves haha).

I knew it would take generations, many, many generations of the little rodents before their genes could be changed.

But there are promising signs at the gitgo. Have you ever seen squirrel poop? No? That could be a very good sign. Maybe they don’t poop, or maybe they hide it away where you can’t find it. Either way is a win.

Another good sign is you won’t have to put their things away. All they have is nuts and they bury those.

You need to breed out:

  • The impulse to bite and claw
  • The impulse to climb the drapes
  • The impulse to chitter too damn much
  • The impulse to squirrel away anything but nuts
  • The impulse to reproduce on a rodent’s timescale, lest you be up to your neck in squirrels

Once you get a tame one, keep it outside. You might have missed a gene or two! The rapacious gene can be hard to find. Although come to think of it, you can always regift.

WATCH: Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon

(CNN)

My cameraman set up wrong. One more mistake like that and he’s gone, even if he is my dad.

He’s got one job. Document the kick. Film it clearly. If the word “appears” appears in the headline, you have failed.

What am I supposed to do? Kick a second squirrel? “Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon And Then Definitely Kicks A Second Squirrel Into The Canyon”? Makes me look like some kind of nut.

Get with it, Dad.

But credit where credit is due. When I kicked an alligator into the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Dad got it perfectly. My blood spurting into the water from the critter’s bite on my calf: red poetry.

I punted a opossum into the Old Faithful hole and Dad caught the animal on film going into the hole and then shooting back out again when the geyser went off. That one made the front page of Animal Rights Journal.

The Grand Canyon, though… You don’t want to mess that one up. I’ve got to go back. Not with a squirrel. I’m thinking a giraffe.

Then I’ll be ready for my magnum opus: a Cub Scout Pack, into Niagara Falls.