Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy Post by Juho Julkunen Post by James Nicoll Post by Steve Coltrin
Post by James Nicoll
The only one of those I've even _read_ is the Cherryh, and all
that I took away from it is that it suffers more than usual
from Cherryh's opaque incluing habits. I do remember that
it's the book I was reading when I saw the campus police shoot
Why would they shoot a squirrel?
It was resisting arrest?
Squirrels can be very, very aggressive. (Especially if they're high
all the time because they live next door to a chemical plant and
crawl around on the bags of nasty chemicals, but that's a whole story
of its own.)
Or even if they're simply bold because people feed them.
On the UC Berkeley campus there's a lot of open space,* with
lawns and groves and Strawberry Creek running through the middle
of it, and the golden-brown fox squirrels living off the acorns
from the coast live oaks and the leavings of people who eat their
lunch outdoors, *and* the peanuts and things that people
deliberately bring to feed to them. They will come up very close
to you, if you've got something like food. Some of them will
actually venture close enough to take a peanut from your hand.
But watch out for your fingers, if they do. Hold the peanut by
its proximal end and let the squirrel grab the distal end,
because if it miscalculates and bites your fingers instead, it
won't care, but you will.
They are not tame. They are not domesticated. They're still
wild animals, but they're bold.
*Less than there used to be, because the Regents keep building
new buildings; but nowadays they tend to buy up building sites in
the City of Berkeley and either take over existing buildings or
demolish them and build anew.
Which invites a certain degree of irony, because back in 1862 the
Morrill Land Grand Act enabled the Feds to donate large tracts of
land for the purpose of establishing colleges and universities.
What became the University of California (by the union of the
College of California and the Agricultural Mining and Mechanical
Arts College in 1868) took approximately half its land and sold
it to the private sector, which became the City of Berkeley.
Ever since, the University has been taking chunks of it back.
Dorothy J. Heydt
djheydt at gmail dot com