I once stood under a horse chestnut tree and kept getting hit by falling conkers. Eventually I realised that no conkers were landing around me. I then realised that each conker had a small bite out of it. I stood under the tree and looked up for ages (conkers coming thick and fast) and eventually realised that a squirrel was picking conkers, presumably peeling them, taking a bite and then impishly hurling it at me. I realised that squirrels aren’t thick and have an extremely good aim and I have a lot of respect for a rodent who can throw like Phil Taylor.
But here comes the rant!…
I am getting infuriated by people constantly banging on about how the ‘evil’ grey squirrel has dispaced the red squirrel and nearly made them extinct. Grey squirrels don’t go out with guns and shoot wildlife, people do that!
According to the oracle that is Wikipaedia; ‘This population decrease is often ascribed to the introduction of the eastern grey squirrel from North America but the loss and fragmentation of its native woodland habitat has also played a major role’. This native woodland has been cut down by people, not squirrels. Probably the same people who went to America and thought, ‘Wow – grey squirrels, but they’d look good in my woodland, I’ll take some home’, (well, that’s how I imagine it). Anyway, although I’m not sure how exactly the grey squirrel came to England, I’m pretty sure they didn’t build boats!
Anyhow, my rant gives me the opportunity to include this lovely stock photo of an extremely cute squirrel.
So let’s control the grey squirrels, encourage our beautiful native red squirrel, protect its habitats and stop destroying our woodland, but please stop blaming the grey squirrels – it’s our fault.