drama with squirrels? i think not

I make it a point not to divulge too much into my personal life here, and I will continue to do so unless there is some event that is just so necessary, that it must be shared.
So with that, I’m able to begin by saying that we humans have something other animals do not: emotions. Okay, okay… maybe it’s not scientifically proven one way or the other, but I’m just diving into my imagination and considering that a typical woodland creature isn’t like us when it comes to encountering other members of our species and expressing any sort of “emotion” or opinion towards them or about them.
For example, I have strong doubts that a furry little squirrel is concerned how other squirrels might look at him if his tail isn’t as bushy or furry. And yes, there is actually a squirrel that lives in a tree by my house with such a tail.
I don’t think any chipmunks will be going out of their way to start some beef with another chipmunk for going in on the same nuts or berries. Sure, they might fight a little bit or chase each other around. Maybe we humans perceive it as “playing.” But after the tussle is done, do they think about what just happened? Are they celebrating in victory or weeping in defeat? Or do they go on to the next piece of food like its no big deal and avoid crossing paths again? Do they become friends? Are their animals that do hang out as friends? Do they sometimes annoy each other with stupid things they do and then stop being friends? Do they talk about each other to their other friends (if its established that they have friends)?
Am I the only one who thinks about these things? Or the only one who sat down to write about it?
All I’m saying is that I doubt there is much drama in the animal kingdom other than “oh dear, that giant beast is trying to eat me.” And there are some days in life, I wish I felt like that too. Not to be chased by giant beasts trying to eat me, but just not being caught up being human and having these human-only problems. Guilt, lust, confusion, responsibility, indifference, depression… The list goes on and can be in quite lengthy in detail. And I’m sure there are a few that could actually apply to animals. I know dogs show guilt once they know you are angry about chewing up an electrical wire (unplugged, of course).
But hey, it’s not so bad having opposable thumbs. But if I were a squirrel, how would I know what those were or even care? Just some thoughts for your mind-grapes. And if you haven’t guessed, if I could be an animal, it’d probably be a squirrel. Or maybe an animal that doesn’t move around much or know what it means to be bored. Turtles come to mind for that.
I don’t really want to be an animal and give up this lovely human life I have. I don’t know any creatures that can read, laugh, and blog. I’m taking the monkey category out of the picture and I’m sticking to land based animals, so dolphins are out. Life as a dog or cat might not be too bad either. So maybe I’ll stick with humanity and ride out the bad emotions as they come and go. Because that would mean I’d miss out on the good ones like euphoria when that comes back around.
(For the record, I’m not depressed. When I’m depressed, I write very little. And if I do, it’s sad poetry that sucks. Trust me…)
So if you ask a squirrel how it’s feeling today, it’ll probably say (if it could speak) “I feel like a squirrel.” I think I’d give you a similar answer today if asked, “I wish I were a squirrel… so if I were asked, I’d just say ‘I feel like a squirrel’ then run away and scurry up a tree” because I’d probably be a bit fearful of the giant human beast and not want to deal with their terrifyingly finicky mood swings. I do love my computer, TV, cell phone, cinemas and I don’t want to be eaten by a giant beast so GO HUMANITY!
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Posted in babbling, euphoria, random, rant, writing
7 comments on “drama with squirrels? i think not
  1. Hmm. I’m going to have to disagree with you. Animals are sentient beings, and that means they do experience emotions. If you observe how protective wild animal moms are of their young offspring, it’s pretty obvious. Also, I know from living with dogs and cats that they display anger, happiness, guilt, sorrow, and other emotions.

    Having said that, no – I don’t think a squirrel is concerned with what other squirrels thinks of his tail. That’s not really emotion, that’s more about their level of intellect and their life priorities. A squirrel is primarily concerned with food, shelter, and survival. Most of us humans don’t worry about those necessities so we have time to focus on other things, like vanity.

    Anyway, I’m a huge animal lover so I had to put my two cents in. If I was an animal, I’d be some kind of cat. Or maybe a bird or a deer – except they are prey animals and I’d rather not worry about getting devoured by a lion, tiger, or bear.

    • t. sterling says:

      Despite what I wrote, I do agree with you. In my strange kooky way, I had to vent some frustration… and I was inspired by watching animals in my yard.

  2. t. sterling says:

    Despite what I wrote, I do agree with you. In my strange kooky way, I had to vent some frustration… and I was inspired by watching animals in my yard.

  3. From 25 floors up, people just look as emotionless and small as ants.

    It’s only perspective.

    I do enjoy your deep thoughts on the topic. We could go for many rounds on this one.

    • t. sterling says:

      Perspective is a great word for it, because at the time, the critters I was “studying” seemed much more drama-free than I.

      But it was also a creative and imaginative way for me to vent and talk about people without really talking about them.

      One of my writing inspirations is Dave Barry, whom I haven’t been reading much of lately, but I love his perspective on life and how he makes things sort’ve absurd, but in a hilarious way. I have more deep thoughts on other things in life that I’m sure I’ll be writing about. And I know I struck a chord of discussion with this one because I’ve been in an “emotional animal” debate before. I do think they feel things, but I chose the other side for this argument for fun 🙂

      • The Sterling Watson is a rascal – trying to start a debate! I like what Jaden said about how people look just as emotionless from 25 floors up. I think we’ve seen humans treated like animals in films (the Matrix comes to mind). It’s a good story idea. What if the animals evolved and took over? Would they treat us as horribly as we treat them?

      • t. sterling says:

        That scenerio makes me think of Planet of the Apes… although I’ve never seen the older version(s), I know the premise and it’s bleak.

        But even when I was in New York walking around the busy city streets, I didn’t see much emotion or feeling. I was also too busy trying not to look like a lost tourist, but I’m able to multitask.

        I left it out of my NYC post, but there was a woman I was walking next to who tripped over a rolling suitcase and fell face flat onto the sidewalk. The lady who owned the suitcase looked back in disgust at first, but I assume went to help. I admit, I didn’t help right away, but as I started to react and reach a hand out, it was already too late and her husband was helping her up. Meanwhile, the 25-50 people surrounding us responded as well. Maybe one or two people rushed over to make sure she was okay, but mostly everyone else, including myself, went about our business even though I was concerned.

        How does this relate to this topic? I could probably go as far as Darwinism and survival of the fittest, but that’s too heavy for my style. I could say that if a forrest creature was injured, I don’t know if others of the same kind would come to it’s rescue. I think dogs and wolves would, they travel in packs and show compassion for each other. But if they saw a crippled chipmunk or something, the chipmunk wouldn’t have to worry about being crippled much longer.

        So I guess my point for the sake of argument is that a vast majority of people are like wild animals and would rather not deal with drama when it’s presented. We just want to get by and live and be, I don’t know, content. I want to ask a squirrel, or a bird, or even a cat and ask if it’s content. I’m imagining, “Eh, I get by,” or just give me an odd look and try to ignore me because it doesn’t want to be bothered (like all those NYC people handing me flyers).

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June 2009
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