The UMD squirrels are known for their boldness–drop a bagel and one of the furry creatures will snatch it up before it hits the ground. Yet for such a well-documented and beloved group, they remain surprisingly elusive. It took some exhaustive searches on Facebook, but The Black Sheep finally managed to contact the UMD Squirrels. Best known for their work in garbage can prowling, tree-climbing, and overall adorableness, these furry celebrities do not seem to enjoy the spotlight and we were lucky to interview several prominent members of the UMD Squirrel community.
Being both reticent and intrepid, the Squirrels only agreed to the interview on two conditions; one, it had to be conducted online, via Facebook chat. Two, as payment we would be obliged to leave a serving of diner fries and an egg-salad wrap on the Mall at midnight. We couldn’t help feeling a bit sketchy as we left our offerings on the grass, but the weird, clandestine drug-dealer sensation was worth it for this priceless interview with UMD’s most beloved sub-community.
Based on the quickness of their responses, we can only conclude that the Squirrels’ mastery of basic technology rivals that of the average college student.
The Black Sheep: So what made you guys decide to go public and make the Facebook pages? For that matter, how do you guys use computers? You don’t have opposable thumbs . . .
UMD Squirrels: Trade secret, sorry. We’ll give you a hint, though; you don’t need literacy or opposable thumbs to get what you want in life. Just a cute face and a bushy tail.
TBS: Well, that’s good to know. So how do you deal with the constant attention? Does it get tiring?
UMDS: Oh, boy, does it ever. Celebrity is very exhausting. We’ll be walking around, minding our own business, when some fangirl snaps a pic with her phone. We’re like, geez, lady, get a life. We don’t take pictures of you.
TBS: But you don’t have camera phones. Or opposable thumbs. Do you?
UMDS: Hey, is this an interview or an interrogation? Bug off! You’re worse than the NSA!
TBS: Um. Okay. Anyway, clearly you’ve gained a lot of fame over the years. Have you ever thought of putting that to good use? Are there any issues you’d like to raise awareness of, like squirrel rights, campus police brutality, or sustainability?
UMDS: Oh, yeah, we’re big fans of sustainability! You know those new compost bins they have? They’re great! We get a lot of free meals by digging out of those! They’re even better than garbage cans.
TBS: Clearly a lot of your diet consists of leftover diner food. Do you actually eat traditional squirrel cuisine, like nuts and berries?
UMDS: Nuts are sort of the food of the past. We’ll eat them on the high holidays, but for the most part we’re modern, urban squirrels with a refined palate. We know our way around french fries better than you guys do.
What are we taking from this exchange? Proud, innovative, and possibly hoarding surprisingly advanced technology, the UMD squirrels are nothing to mess with. Show your respect by asking permission before snapping candid pictures. And use the compost bins on campus! That could be the next meal for a furry family of four.