No. 22.—The Grey Squirrel.
THE GREY SQUIRREL is a cunning mathematician whose skill in calculating trajectories is unmatched in the animal kingdom. It has, in fact, been estimated by behavioral scientists that the Grey Squirrel would have reached the moon at least two million years before man did, had not the squirrel’s calculations revealed that the probability of finding peanuts on the moon was practically nil.
Ornithologically inclined observers who keep bird feeders in the back yard may frequently see Grey Squirrels sitting in low branches near the bird feeders, manipulating their tiny slide rules with astonishing speed and consummate skill to arrive at exactly the correct parabola that will take a squirrel from branch to feeder in one leap.
No amount of ingenuity in the design of bird feeders will ultimately defeat a determined Grey Squirrel, and the best strategy for bird lovers who wish to preserve something for their feathered friends is to feed the squirrels themselves so often that they become more or less spherical, which throws off their parabolic calculations.
Although human intelligence is no match for the squirrel’s, there is one enemy for whose formidable brain the Grey Squirrel is no match. This is the Blue Jay, a member of the hyperintelligent Corvid family of birds. Alas, the Blue Jay uses his brain for evil instead of good, his favorite recreation being the theft of nuts from (relatively) innocent squirrels. Squirrel lovers should not attempt to thwart the Blue Jay, no matter how much sympathy they feel for their furry grey friends. The Blue Jay is a bird you would not wish to have for an enemy.
Allegorically, the Grey Squirrel represents Engineers’ and Technicians’ Local No. 348, which has kindly agreed to sponsor this allegory through March 28, 2014.