Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'S' is for Squirrel

I find myself encountering squirrels when i am out and about. In the city, amongst the trees, there the squirrels play. They are photogenic and have a joyful, attractive charisma. This i noted as a child, outside my bedroom window they would skirt about the porch roof. Other people enjoy them too, Christy Hargrove of Asheville North Carolina invented Squirrel Appreciation Day in 2001.

Amongst the western and Jugoslavs the word for squirrel is a form of veverice, veverka. A Slovene child's poem begins,
Veverica, veverica,
skoči sem, skoči tja,
ko pa na vrh smreke spleza
z repkom pomahlja. ...

Squirrel, squirrel,
jump here, jump there,
when on top of the spruce you climb
with your tail you wave . ...
Amongst the Croats a child's toy is a squirrel with an umbrella that is formed after a nursey rhyme. There is an air of humour about this clever, vivacious rodent.
Diše, diše, kiša, kiša
Vjeverica kišobran drži
Kiša pada, trava raste
Breathe, breathe, rain, rain
Squirrel an umbrella holds
Rain falls, grass grows
In an episode [# 110 The Most Unforgettable Characters 4 January 1977] of the television series M*A*S*H, Radar takes a correspondence course from the "Famous Las Vegas Writers' School". His second assignment has him asking Hawkeye about an amusing personal anecdote.

Hawkeye: This happened while I was in my first year of medical school. I was taking an exam in anatomy. It was really tough. They ask questions like "How many bones are there in the hand?" I was stymied. I kept saying to myself, "How many bones are there in the hand?" Then I heard this little voice that said "24." I looked around the room and there sitting on the window sill of the classroom was this little grey squirrel with a very intelligent face. And he pointed at his hand and said "24." So I wrote it down. And then after the exam I rushed over to the library to look it up. And would you believe it? That stupid squirrel was wrong by four bones. I went looking all over the campus for him. I wanted to kill him. I finally found him over on a bench by the psych department. "You were wrong!" I screamed at him. "There's 28 bones in the human hand!" "Oh," he said pointing at his hand, "I thought you meant a squirrel's hand."
There are 27 bones in a human hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment