Shifty Squirrels Finagle Their Way Into Tickledom

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Although they frequently face backyard discrimination, as homeowners generously provide a buffet of food and elaborate bird houses for finches, robins, cardinals and their other feathered friends, squirrels deserve better. More often than not, though, they get chased away when just looking for a bite to eat, have projectiles thrown at them just for fun, and are even shot at.

Squirrels are also often blamed for power outages, damage to dams and levees and even for crippling economic losses for regular homeowners, nut growers and forest managers.

However, squirrels continue to thrive, and it’s all a product of their intelligence, keen sense of smell and ticklishness. A certain shifty squirrel act witnessed in Madison, WI recently was enough for the Tickle City Award Committee to recognize the small rodent.

A particular squirrel was observed hanging completely slumped over a birdfeeder (one that was reportedly “squirrel-proof”) and not moving. Observers were originally worried as it appeared the squirrel was dead, possibly having been impaled by some sharp object as it performed a daring leap from a nearby tree to get to the bird food. Completely flattened, it looked like the squirrel had enjoyed its last snack.

However, a closer look around revealed an alternate explanation. A majestic hawk sat in another nearby tree, scanning the area for potentially tasty rodents. Not finding much, after a minute it flew away to investigate another yard.

After a few more seconds had passed, the shifty squirrel suddenly perked up, scampered down the poll and off to safety, having been playing dead to avoid becoming a hawk snack. An episode of high drama, the shifty squirrels won again.

Next time you see a shifty squirrel offer it a snack, because it will probably find a way to get it anyway.

Shifty squirrels, looking pretty ticklish!

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