I love surreal headlines “ Man jailed in wire case”, “ There are no nails in cheese, say police.” That kind of thing. But I could never have hoped for anything so unlikely, so bizarre as “ School playground evacuated on account of unusually aggressive squirrel. “
But that was the headline in several papers yesterday.
I’ve never thought of squirrels as anything other than furry, cheeky chappies who run up trees and promote road safety. I wondered how aggressive squirrels are in general. Do they hang around the school gates, flicking their nuts at passers-by? Do they ride their chopper bikes over the rounders pitch? Do they make dark threats ? “ You want some action punk ,huh ? “ Gimme your dinner money, kid, or the My Little Pony gets it ! “
Then I noticed it was just one squirrel. You can imagine the type- born on the wrong side of the tracks, wears a (furry) biker jacket, chews gum a lot. How could one squirrel wreak such havoc that a whole school of small children was hurried back inside the school building ? Did he kick over the waste bins ? Pull a rude sign at Miss ?
And once they were inside – were they safe ? I could imagine thirty children hiding under their desks, shaking with terror. There is a terrible silence, then little footsteps pattering down the corridor. They pause outside the classroom door. The kids hold their breath. More footsteps, silence.
Then an almighty crash. Axe blows and splintering wood. Then a small furry face, sneering and full of hatred.
“ Heeeeere’s Tufty !”