|Is a squirrel just a rat in a cuter outfit?—via Wikipedia|
Central Park is still closed because of yesterday’s Nor’easter, so Bogey and I were forced to walk along Central Park West. We reached West 84th Street and I saw several groups of curious observers with cameras staring into the park. This is the section of the park with large rocks or boulders and some small holes within the rocks.
At first I thought they’d seen an animal and maybe it had crawled inside one of the holes. The people were making sounds and calling “it” to come closer. I thought perhaps it was a rare bird in one of the trees beyond the rocks. I stopped and waited a few minutes, staring pointlessly into the park, but noticed nothing out of the ordinary.
Bogey and I strolled a few feet and I looked again. Surely, I’d missed it. Other people began to turn their heads toward the inside of the park as they walked by. What were the gazers looking at or for?
Then, I saw it. Way up on one of the rocks, the creature was resting on two with a nut between its paws, doing the chewy squirrelly thing that squirrels do. And, I realized at that moment –– these must be tourists because no New Yorker could ever seem so infatuated with a bushy-tailed rodent.
Where were these people from? Why would anyone be mesmerized by a squirrel eating a nut? It was beyond me. We see squirrels and squirrels eating nuts every day around the parks of New York City. I’ve heard that tourists are infatuated with the squirrels in the city, it’s true. And today, I witnessed this for the first time.
I don’t dislike squirrels, but I don’t see the attraction either. Baby squirrels, well maybe— they can be pretty darn cute, just like any baby.
But after growing up around an area more rural than NYC, I believe city squirrels have more attitude than country squirrels. Squirrels in the boonies mind their business, they rarely torment dogs, and they know the rules. They also know that playing by those rules is smart or could end up as a Labrador’s play toy.
|Bogey is in hunting mode|
City squirrels, well not so much –– they have no fear here, kind of like city people. And I guess they figure with dogs on leashes the majority of the time, and few cats running wild in the streets, they stand little chance of getting caught or eaten. Their don’t- F-with-me attitude is probably inborn too. After all, they are New York squirrels.
I did a little research and apparently squirrels don’t hang their hats in Australia. Maybe this is the explanation. But regardless, I’m going to direct my Aussie readers to one of the most memorable television scenes with one of the funniest lines regarding these fluffy-tailed critters. They might’ve missed this episode or forgotten about it, but I didn’t.
Even though these little vermin are considered wildlife by the parks of NYC, I think I can speak for most New Yorkers when I say that rats and squirrels are only tails apart, and skinny or bushy, we’ve got way too many of those tails in the Big Apple.