Little Known Facts About the Red Squirrel by Angela Readman

  1. Red squirrels are endangered in Britain and aren’t always red.
  2. Squirrels live in nests called a drey woven from sticks and feathery dreamcatchers.
  3. Their diet includes nuts, berries and Graze boxes.
  4. The Latin name for squirrel is Scurius Vulgaris. Scurry makes sense. Vulgaris sounds unfair for something that never says fuck but wears fuzzy mittens on all your Christmas cards.
  5. Squirrels moult twice annually. In December it puts on fun-fur.
  6. Squirrels don’t like being called ginger.
  7. Men like to say strawberry blonde as if sucking peaches.
  8. Squirrels don’t hibernate but stay indoors ironing while you sniffle on gynaecologists.
  9. In autumn, squirrels bury nuts for winter. It stores these like remembering pick up tampons and your least favourite sexual position.
  10. A young squirrel is called a kit, not a friend.
  11. Kits arrive toothless and dependent. In 6 weeks, their eyes are wide-open.   They shed their glasses for contacts and make the adults revisit belly button rings.
  12. If a squirrel couldn’t grow its own coat, it would ‘borrow’ the Superdry you outgrew at your suggestion.
  13. The squirrel has 5 toes per foot, long enough to pick up dropped dusters.
  14. They can be left or right-handed. This is no reason to bond peeling   bananas.
  15. Squirrels are super athletic. They can hang upside down, swing off clotheslines, drop into downward dog whilst making blueberry porridge.
  16. Squirrels don’t add the prefix Vegan to every single thing that enters their mouths.
  17. A penis is not a solid staple of most vegetarian diets.
  18. Adult squirrels weigh 275-350 grams, the same as an ovulation kit or the Snaccindent magnet on the fridge.
  19. Squirrels can live for 6 years, the same as a skin cell, a sex life, 1/6 of the length of that zombie show it keeps pretending to like.
  20. Surprisingly, squirrels can swim. Given the chance, they’ll dive into your pool flashing freckles and doggy paddle adorably.
  21. Strong hind legs allow squirrels to leap branches, puddles, scrabble into attics and descend draped in tinsel as if they won a fucking medal.
  22. If a man catches a falling squirrel get a solicitor.
  23. If a squirrel misses cloudberries and saunas get a marriage counsellor.
  24. Males detect females ready to reproduce by the odour they secrete watching Deadpool.
  25. Litters consist of 3 offspring. 1/10 of the number of times mature females reassure the young they’ll find someone if they had more confidence.
  26. The collective noun for au pair is an abandon.
  27. Women who hire one are a naivety.
  28. Offspring t-shirts aren’t worthy of saying Cool to middle-aged men.
  29. A receding hairline isn’t a sign of virility. Being compared to Bruce Willis is.
  30. Squirrels remember 99% of the locations they buried food, your favourite flowers, your birthday. They mark their territory with funny little cards. Their signatures look like scratches, the X0X’s are claws dragging your world through the woods.

Angela Readman is a short story writer and poet from Northumberland.

Red Squirrel in a tree

Photo by Julian on Unsplash

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