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Of Squirrels and Men

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Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:48 am

Lodi's gang problem is expanding.

It's not a red or blue issue. It's not a black and white issue. In fact, it's a lot fuzzier.

Squirrels in this town are taking over, and they're taking a stand, quite literally.

Yesterday morning, I was driving to work. Since I usually ride my bike or walk to work, I try to be twice as courteous of cyclists and walkers when I drive. I become much more aware of my surroundings.

Coming down Locust toward the News-Sentinel back parking lot, a squirrel ran out into the middle of the street. He stopped, turned toward my oncoming vehicle and stood straight up. 

Now, understand, I'm an animal lover. I always have been. I love all manner of critter, even rodentia. Running over a squirrel would be devastating.

I slowed down and stopped. Mr. Squirrel did not budge. I looked in his eyes. He directed his beady little eyes right back at mine.

A few seconds passed before I figured he was going to stand his ground. Since I had a time schedule, and apparently he didn't, I began to pull around to the right. He darted back in the same direction, forcing me to stop once more. 

“He's got more nuts stored in his brain than he does back at his nest,” I muttered. The standoff would continue, I reasoned. But soon he was scampering down the sidewalk, and I finished my trek to work.

Even the smallest of us can stop and change the direction of something larger than ourselves.