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Do squirrels curse?

August 13, 2012

I found an interview at the Washington Post where a scientist who has been studying the behavior of animals, specifically squirrels – was asked if squirrels cursed. The scientist replied he did not like to attach anthropomorphic descriptions to the behaviors of lower animals so he would suspect the squirrel was exhibiting alarm rather than anger. Well, I wished that scientist had met Zebe and a few others. I do believe squirrels curse. A lot of people say they felt like they got an earful when they upset a squirrel. And squirrels do get angry. Their blood pressure rises and the inner corner of their eyes turn red.

One morning we devised a plan. We were expecting a delivery of a sound system and a new carpet steamer. I was to play with Zebe until he got so tired that he would spend the afternoon napping. We would then take care of our new things. All seemed to be going as planned so in the afternoon, I locked Zebe in his cage and took it to the bedroom. As soon as we started to open the boxes, we heard a banging noise. As we ignored it, Zebe became vocal in a very loud tone. He kept saying something we interpreted as: “Open up this ****** ! Open up this ***** door!”  We finally brought the cage to the living room so Zebe could look at what we were doing. That did not suffice. He kept banging the door and cursing. He was visibly enraged.

We were pretty sure Zebe attributed some not so nice adjectives to us too as we were slow to respond to his request. When he came out of his cage, I thought he was going to do something to us but he was more curious about the new items. For the rest of the afternoon, he played with Styrofoam pellets; he kept jumping on bubble wrap and getting in and out of boxes. Later, he passed out from exhaustion in one of those boxes. When I found him, I thought the worst and I quickly picked him up. Within a few seconds, he woke up. He jumped on the carpet and went home. There, he drank some water, ate a little bit and went to bed. The next morning, we asked Zebe: who raised you – you filthy mouth!

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