How and When to Speak to a Squirrel

Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 by cj in Fun | Leave a comment (49)

What a perfect devil!!!

What a perfect devil!!!

There are hundreds of human universals.  Surely, listed among them is dialogue with our good friends, the squirrels.  How I wish I had the time to read the entire list, but I am trying to compose a post.  And to our Australian and Antarctic friends: Not having squirrels is no longer an acceptable excuse. We have Skype, don’t we?  

Of course, there is want and then there is art.  Tammy and I are seasoned squirrel whisperers who are prepared to share our experience with the general public.  We sincerely want everyone, including our furry friends, to have an ideal encounter.

Knowing the Situation

The finest conversation will, undoubtedly, occur when one joins the squirrel in it’s natural environs.  Thankfully, this is the outdoors in general whether it be the ancient and pristine forest or the city sidewalk.  These little devils are ultra-adaptable.

Occasions arise, however, that require elevated cleverness and tact.  Driving and indoor activities present multiple obstacles of which we’ll examine in due time.  But these ought not to be deterrents in stopping to offer a kind word to our arboreal friends.

In a large city like Houston, aside from birds, they are the only conspicuous wild life and how fortunate we are that they are diurnal.

Optimal Discourse

When one is out of doors and a squirrel presents herself, it is wise to choose between coming to a halt at a respectful distance or continuing on one’s path.  The exception being when a squirrel desires to cross a road.  In that case, one ought to come to a halt, smile broadly, and allow her to cross. 

If she is content on her chosen side of the road, then we can proceed with discourse.  Our method has proven results:

  1. Smile authentically, not like a freak, and lean back, not toward the tiny sweet.
  2. Call her by name with your voice’s sweetest timbre, Squirrely or Squirrel-Squirrely.  
  3. The first or middle syllable ought to rise in pitch and the final syllable return to baseline.
  4. Most of these timid angels will run away regardless of your intentions.
  5. Do not pout.  Squirrely’s friends will all laugh at you.
  6. If you are fortunate enough to have Squirrely turn her attentions toward you, ask what or how she’s doing.
  7. You may get a tail whip, tail shield, the vibrating lips, posturing or retreat.
  8. These are all sure signs that you are an interloper and a jerk. 
  9. Not to worry as she was surely intrigued for a split second, plus you are better than a dog or cat and that is all that matters.
  10. To point out what she is doing, such as Squirrely, you’re digging in the old lady’s flower bed again! may be pointless to you, but she loves the keen observation and acknowledgement.
  11. If Squirrely is upset and screaming, as she often is, with cats, dogs, humans and rivals, offer a few soothing words and perhaps a compliment on her fresh fur or well groomed whiskers.
  12. Finally, bid her farewell when the conversation has ended.

Now, let us briefly examine situations that pose the greatest challenges and barriers to our rapport with the squirrels.  When you are indoors and Squirrely is outdoors, don’t let her languish in the weeds of your patio!  Greet her from your desk or from the luncheon table.  She will hear you despite the barrier and love you for your efforts.

Similarly, when you are driving at a leisurely tempo or stopped and Squirrely presents herself, roll the window down for crying out loud and say hello.  It is the least you can do.  If you have time, which you occasionally ought to, pull over so you can have a proper chat.  She feels safe when you are in the car and parked.

If you follow these simple suggestions, Squirrely will recommend you to all her friends and babies.  And her babies are invariably beyond what we call precious.  If there be any duties at all in our varied and busy lives, they must include harmony with the squirrels.


  • There is no reason to take a tone with a squirrel no matter their behavior.  Squirrels hate prudes.  
  • It is beyond the scope of this post to exhaust all situations in which one may converse with a squirrel.  Please offer any I have missed in comments. 

For some of the finest and most educational writing on squirrels and love of nature, please see these posts: Nutty for Squirrels and Creepy-Crawlers, Olloclips, and Compassion.

49 comments about "How and When to Speak to a Squirrel"

  1. Too funny. This reminds me a lot of how I talk to the stray cats where I live. I’m not used to seeing so many cats, but there are a couple nearby and I’ve started to become friendly with them. I even named a couple that I regularly see. Like squirrels, they often run away even though I have only the best of intentions.

    I remember seeing someone post something online about becoming friends with a wild squirrel. If you start feeding one regularly, you can get them pretty close to you and trust you. I’ve often thought about doing that just to see if it would work. Although I don’t know how much they would like to be called “Squirrelly squirrel” with a first syllable rise in pitch. I can try it out though. If anything, it would make me laugh.
    Steve recently posted..20 Reasons to Become an Avid ReaderMy Profile

    • So we can count on you for the stray cats edition? I have no idea how or when to speak to them, Steve. I am cat illiterate, really.

      Oh, they will love you for food, no doubt. At times, it is all but impossible to not throw out a handful of sunflower seeds for our fuzzy friends!

      Have a squirrely one!!!

  2. Hilarious! Loved your thoughts on conversing with squirrels! And I appreciated your pointing out how lucky we are that these adaptable, diurnal animals so readily make neighbors with us! Thanks for linking to Nutty for Squirrels!
    Melanie Furr recently posted..10 Reasons Why October is My Favorite MonthMy Profile

    • Melanie!!! Thanks for dropping a comment bomb on the Hoombah!!! We just cannot say enough good things about these guys! It was our pleasure to link to your delicious post!!!

      Have a quirky one;)

  3. This is possibly one of the best blog titles I’ve come across recently, and certainly was enough to pull me off Twitter and make me rush over here to read. Thank you for a hilarious and enjoyable post for this Sunday evening, guys. I can’t quite stop laughing. :)
    Megan Joel Peterson recently posted..One Year Blogging Anniversary and GiveawayMy Profile

    • MJP!!! Such a pleasure to have your thoughts on the Hoombah! Glad to give you a chuckle or two. Our squirrels say your books are huge in their community. Smart little suckers!

      Have a fuzzy one!

  4. The town where I live, and grew up, Bergen, is famous in Norway for being surrounded by mountains. None of them are very tall mountains, but they are mountains nonetheless. Behind the peak of the second tallest, is a still lake surrounded by tall, straight, dark pine trees where I remember seeing lots of squirrels as a kid. It may be the only place in Town where they live in any noticeable numbers. I have not been there for many years, but I was considering paying it a visit the other day, and with this I have decided. The next time the weather allows it, I will venture up and relive childhood memories.

    Also, how would the rules of conduct differ if the squirrel was male?

    (BTW! Did you see the new logo I scraped together in Paint? Did you like it?)
    Ragnar recently posted..Forget Your Failures, Progress Is All That MattersMy Profile

    • Ragnar!! Thanks for laying one down over here. This is a delightful comment and ought to be read by all who come after you. Yes, relive those tender childhood memories. You’ll not be sorry, I am sure.

      If the squirrel be male, then be sure not to act very tall. They consider this posturing and a turn off. That is all.

      Please follow up and let us know if the fabled place in Bergen is as you recall from your youth!

      Have a most memorable one, Ragnar!!

  5. Is it even possible for me to adore the Hoombahs more than I already do? Thank you kindly for linking to my Creepy Crawlers post at the end (and Melanie’s lovely post, too!)–what a nice surprise for a chilly Monday morning! As for this squirrelly post of yours, it is beyond delightful. I can just picture the two of you, affectionately conversing with your furry friends. So flippin’ sweet!

    Although I have yet to converse with squirrels, I now feel more than adequately prepared and downright enthusiastic about it. On vacation last year, our family watched in amusement as a mischievous little squirrel tried to steal some fruit from a hotel rooftop’s breakfast buffet. Another guest, a stern woman with an obviously cold heart, made her way over to speak harshly at the cute critter. Karma bit her in the ass, however–as she was admonishing the squirrel, she hadn’t realized she was letting the orange juice machine overflow all over her breakfast. What a mess she had to clean up! And, dare I say, the squirrel looked quite pleased at this turn of events! (Team Squirrel all the way!)
    Joy @ Joyfully Green recently posted..Boundaries and the Edges That Define UsMy Profile

    • Joy!!! Thanks for your thoughtful thoughts! It was our pleasure to link to your fine, fine post. It is they who are really the sweet ones, but thank you nonetheless.

      See what happens when one is cross with a squirrel? Some people never learn.

      Thanks for sharing that hysterical scene with us!!! And have a Swisher Sweets Monday!!

  6. For some strange reason, I’ve thoughts of Beatrix Potter in my mind now…
    Dale recently posted..Inspired by LidiaMy Profile

    • Yes, but the bunnies are so very shy. It will take even greater skills to converse with them, won’t it? Ah well, I have much to learn and write about. Thanks for stretching my Dr. Doolittle skills, Dale!

      Have a peachy one!

  7. But what happens when you come across the squirrel from The Emperor’s New Groove? He woke up the panthers!
    Vincent recently posted..eBook Release, My Overseas Adventure, and 30 Stories and Facts You Don’t Know About MeMy Profile

    • Vincent! Thanks for commenting! Uh….. What the hell is the squirrel doing in the jungle? I suppose there are jungle species, now that I think on it.

      That particular squirrel has a poor reputation among his contemporaries. I’d instruct him on current expectations for etiquette for starters.

      Have a wild one!

  8. Great read, CJ! Funny, this advice is also perfect for interacting with bipedal hominids! Wouldn’t the world be wonderful if your advice didn’t apply only to the squirrels?!?!?!

    Ree Klein recently posted..Survey Sunday: What’s Your Favorite Inexpensive Brand of Coffee?My Profile

    • Ree!!! Thanks for such kind words!!! Yes, they are more like us than we may want to admit. And I had not thought of this transfer from the post to actual human interaction. Houston is a city that could benefit from such courtesies, especially on our roads and in our cafes!!!

      Have a swell one!

  9. I spend a lot of time on a university campus that is an ideal environment for squirrels. There are many varieties of trees, lush lawns, shady paths, and intriguing flowerbeds, all offering endless opportunities for exploration, play, and relaxation. Best of all, there are the constantly-eating students. Because of them, our squirrely friends are assured of always finding a delicious array of edible delights in trash cans, on picnic tables, and randomly throughout the landscape, as well as generously offered by hand. Thanks to these friendly, well-fed young people, the squirrels here are always interested in a lively conversation, especially if it looks like you have something in your hand.
    Rosemary recently posted..Two For the SeesawMy Profile

  10. I forgot to add that if you search YouTube for “Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel”, you will find several videos of the “squirrel whisperers” at the college who feed this particular squirrel and put tiny hats on his head. It really is something!
    Joy @ Joyfully Green recently posted..Boundaries and the Edges That Define UsMy Profile

    • Tiny hats!!!??? And no one has yet told me? Thank you so much, Joy. This really is a must see. These are the gurus I ought to be referencing in my posts!

  11. CJ — I am a better person for having read your post, fully prepared now to deepen my relationship with the squirrel demographic. Have you visited Google+? Lots of your squirrel-lovng homies post their favorite squirrel photos there every Saturday (under +SquirrelSaturday, of course). Check it out! Heading out now to look for a squirrel to befriend. Thank you for the nudge! ~ Martha
    Martha Brettschneider recently posted..Rockin’ the 2013 Army 10-MilerMy Profile

    • Martha!!! A better person? How could that be? After that run with your friend and all? Thanks for another source for squirrel studies. There can never be too many.

      Please report back on your experience if you have time and you make a bushy-tailed friend!

  12. Awesome post you two.

    In my neighborhood there are a lot of Squirrels and I appreciate each one that I come across. I too even have a cute name for them which turns out to be a slight variation on your Squirrel-Squirrely! Mine is Squirrely-Squirrel :)

    As you are no doubt both friends of the 280 odd species of Squirrel, did you also know that chipmunks are just small Squirrels? Also, were you both fans of Secret Squirrel back in the day? I was and might look up an episode on the You of Tube later in celebration of this post.

    Thanks again you two and nuts to you both :)

    Take care and all the best.

    Lyle @ The Joy of Simple recently posted..On How David Coverdale of Whitesnake Inspired Me To Live The Life I wanted!!My Profile

  13. This may be the greatest thing ever published on the internet :)

    Your detail is impeccable.

    Seriously awesome article. Can’t help but smile all the way through.
    Kevin Cole recently posted..The Transparency Chronicles #1My Profile

    • You are far too kind, KC!!! Thanks for popping in and bestowing such kind words on such a nut as I!

      Have a fun one!

  14. What a fun post! I might try some of these on people I run across in the park as well. Unfortunately, my walking companion is not a friend to squirrels. He gives them dirty looks and licks his chops hungrily. Strangely, the squirrels don’t seem to mind.
    Meri recently posted..Simplify your life: don’t wasteMy Profile

    • Meri! What fun to have your words too! Perhaps your friend and the squirrelies can come to some sort of an agreement if not an arrangement? I certainly hope so.

      The people in the park will love being called squirrel-squirrely! And they are quite used to having the obvious pointed out to them if they’ve ever had a boss.

      Have a cool one!

  15. I now feel slighlty guilty for my usual surly manner in dealing with squirrels. Most of my interaction is done from my car, where I am saying ” wtf! Do you have a death wish?” to th smug fellows who will not get out of my way.
    Maybe it is their subtle way of telling me I should get off my keister and ride my bike instead.
    Are you fluent in squirrel body language?
    Katie recently posted..Photo Friday #5 Morning VisitorMy Profile

    • The squirrels are always forgiving, Katie!!! Thanks for commenting. Their auto-awareness courses have much to be desired, but there is a huge movement underway in their communities.

      As far as body language is concerned, of course we are experts. Have a hopping old squirrel Wednesday!!

  16. You guys never, ever fail to make me laugh. ANd I seriously laughed out loud. I love squirrels. They are very entertaining. We had some outside of our office windows playing in the trees every day at my old work place, and this big, furry one would always chase this little, tan coloured one, and we’d always choose a side and cheer that one on.

    They are huge in NYC. Have you been and seen the size of them? They are practically racoons.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted..Tesla Motors: The Beginning of the End for Buying Gas or Charging BatteriesMy Profile

    • Thanks for your abundantly kind words, Daisy!!! Squirrel sports!!! Yes, I had nit considered this, yet I see it every day. I’ve only been to NYC a few times and never noticed the squirrels. That was way back when I noticed nothing however, closer to my younger more foolish days.

      I do wonder if I’d have to speak differently to a raccoon sized squirrel. Have a spooky one!

  17. From past experience, you should always be nice to a squirrel because if not, they’ll be after your nuts!
    jamie flexman recently posted..6 Reasons Why Your Life Is Harder Than It Should Be (and what to do about it)My Profile

    • You mean I could have condensed my prolix post to this one sentence? Damn Jamie! You are too good! Thanks and have a splendid and candid one!!

  18. I knew you were a squirrel whisperer! But ignored she was a she. I will practice on the hawler monkeys in the backyard and let you know what they think.
    Pauline recently posted..Classic bikes: A good investment?My Profile

    • It ought to go swell, Pauline, but I would not worry if you get screamed at. I think they’re supposed to do that. Thanks for popping in and hope the remainder of your fabulous travels goes swell! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  19. Oh how I would love to talk to a squirrel! But sadly I hardly ever see them where I live! They are far too quick, scurrying up trees and out of sight… however, should I get the opportunity in the future, I now know the proper way in which to speak to one! Thanks so much! :)
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted..Friday’s Fab Links #15My Profile

    • Hayley!!! Please don’t let their freakish speed scare you off. They use it to beguile and blandish!!! I am so happy you could take something away from this utter persiflage. Have a nutty one!!! And thank you for commenting!

    • It may not be possible to get any more adorable than that!!! Thank you so much Shanna Mann. That makes our day for certain. I had the same thing happen a few years back but I had shorts on and those tiny sweets have needle-like little claws. They must mistake us for trees or mothers, either of which are not all that flattering (for a man, of course, no offense mothers!). Have a funny one!!!

  20. As long as they don’t start talking back to you, I’d say you’re still on the correct side of the line that separates the sane from the insane. However, talking squirrels would probably make for a pretty good post. Unless they’re demanding that you Kill! Kill!! Kill!!! If the squirrels ever make that demand of you, please don’t heed their suggestion.

    I’ve listened to squirrels,
    I’ve listened to fools,
    I’ve watched all the drop outs,
    Who make their own rules.

    I’m going off the tree on a crazy train…
    Mr. 1500 recently posted..10 Questions with Common Sense MillennialMy Profile

    • 1500!!! Thanks for popping in!! It would be a mistake to count me as sane with any confidence whether my furry friends talk back or not;)

      I thought I heard one say red rum once, but surely it was the wind. You made an excellent new verse for a classic metal tune. You work is done and done very well, 1500.

      Have a wink and a nod Monday!!

  21. Oh Sir CJ, this should be given to all visitors to your country who have not encountered squirrels.

    I do know that I will refer to it when I next visit the US.

    Thanks for your insights :-)
    Mark Adam Douglass (Minimalist Couple) recently posted..Exceeding CapacityMy Profile

    • MAD!! Great idea! Perhaps we could make an addendum to the US constitution. What could be easier? Have a swell one!


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