30 December 2006

Squirrel rampant!

Brett is concerned that we are going to be subjugated by the family Sciuridae. His posts about our "mutant squirrel overlords" can be found here. And you know, Brett is a good guy and one of my best friends and if he wants to have paranoid fantasies about cute little woodland animals, I'm totally willing to back him up on that. Of course, considering how many things one can find on the net, or even on Wikipedia, merely by typing in the word "squirrel" perhaps "paranoid" is an ill-chosen word here.

Anyway, David and I were at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge yesterday and we learned about the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel. We saw them scampering about and, because they are both cute and endangered*, we found adorable Delmarva Fox Squirrel objets d'tourist in the gift shop. At David's prompting, I purchased a Delmarva Fox Squirrel stuffed animal/finger puppet.

Brett beware! I found the fiercest, most terrifying, one they had - you'll note his agressive and warlike demeanor in the picture (left) - and named him Rampant. It is impressively easy to make him look as though he is about to, oh, savage an innocent family. In fact, Rampant really looks as though he is about to burst out of the computer and savage anyone reading this post.

Our original intent, and the reason that we leaned more toward the red of tooth and claw look than the wearing a sweater look - and there were sweater-wearing stuffed animal squirrels at the BNWR gift shop, make no mistake - is that we were thinking of presenting Rampant to Brett as a gift. But as we rode along homewards, Rampant and I bonded as I showed him the rest of Dorchester county and allowed him to make bone-meltingly terrifying faces at the truckers we passed. So now I'm not sure that I want Rampant to go live with Brett. Especially as there is the possibility that Rampant would be used to provide some kind of horrible example to the big city squirrels of P.G. County. I can just see some form of gibbet in Brett's backyard with Rampant swinging in the breeze after he'd been given to 'Jira (Brett and Cate's 600-foot-tall-fire-breathing-lizard disguised as an elderly black lab) as a plaything. No kind of fit ending for as noble a warrior as Rampant.

Besides, did you see how cute he is?

*My own first law of zoology is what I call "Survival of the Cutest." Species that are cute have a better chance of having stuffed animal avatars in the gift shop than icky, scary ones. Which means that they get more fundraising dollars, their kids go to better schools, etc, etc, etc.

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