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U.Va. Squirrels — Campus Celebrities with Bushy Tails and Big Personalities

The squirrel population of U.Va. in a nutshell

<p>Their lectures are a sight to behold — a masterclass in squirrel-osophy.</p>

Their lectures are a sight to behold — a masterclass in squirrel-osophy.

Editor’s Note: This article is a humor column.

Welcome to the University of Virginia, where the echoes of history meet the scurrying of tiny paws. In the illustrious shadow of Charlottesville's domed pride, amidst the august columns and the statues that witnessed the rise of the University, there roams an elite squadron of fur-bound scholars. Many know of these bushy-tailed creatures as the official mascots of the University. But in fact, they are much more than just rent-avoiding residents. The University’s squirrels, much like us students, embody the essence of collegiate life, exuding personality, vitality and scholarship — albeit in a furry form. These pint-sized inhabitants have a significant impact on the University, infusing the meticulously maintained Lawn with moments of amusement, spontaneity and a hint of untamed spirit. 

I am here to bring light to these deserving rodents. No longer will we discuss the uneducated rats found in dormitories or dismiss the squirrels as annoyances. Instead, we will marvel at them. Here, dear reader, are those who live among us.

The Nutty Professors — The Whiskered Academics

Step aside tweed jackets and leather-bound books, the real intellectuals of the University have arrived sporting fur coats and a penchant for public speaking. These squirrels — dubbed “The Nutty Professors” by, well, me — have established a new kind of open-air university. There, the curriculum revolves around the mysterious physics of the fluffy tail and the best acorn-hiding techniques to cure squirrel amnesia.

Their lectures are a sight to behold — a masterclass in squirrel-osophy. They gather their bushy-tailed disciples and impart wisdom, commanding attention and respect while perched on branches. Offerings include nutonomics and nestitechture. With vigorous flicks of their tails, they etch diagrams in the dirt and depict complex strategies for infiltrating the most secure of trash bins. They fiercely debate the nutritional content of various seeds with a fervor that would make any nutritionist nod in solemn agreement. Welcome to the Squirrel University of Virginia, where every day is a nutty adventure in higher education!

The Crafty Adversaries — The Fuzzy Fellows of Feistiness

These pint-sized bandits have perfected the art of the snack attack. They employ guerrilla tactics that could outsmart military strategists. The masterminds of mischief, the miniature marauders of the University. A band of bushy-tailed brigands so sly, they could give Robin Hood a run for his money — if he were in the business of pilfering pastries, that is. These pint-sized pillagers have honed their heist techniques to perfection. With the precision of a seasoned pickpocket, they execute snack heists that are the stuff of campus legend.

They have been known to orchestrate complex operations involving decoys, distractions and the occasional squirrelly parkour to liberate a lonely lunch from its human guardian. In one memorable incident, a daring squirrel named Slicktail executed a breathtaking maneuver to pilfer a granola bar from an unattended bag. With acrobatic prowess and stealth, he seized the snack and vanished into the foliage, leaving behind a stunned audience and a lesson in snack security. With such mobility, one is shocked to hear he didn’t make the mascot team. These treat takers are no mere foragers — they are the fluffy incarnations of the adage, "Keep your friends close and your snacks closer." Students have learned that here at the University, it's not the grades that you need to guard with your life — it is your granola bars.

The Trusty Tail-Bearers — The Secret-Keepers of the Squirrel Society

In the verdant groves of the University, one finds the most reliable members of Grounds — the Trusty Tail-Bearers. These are no ordinary rodents. They are the confidants of the University, the furry friends who know the weight of our deepest-kept secrets — the true reason behind the Rotunda fire in 1895, the secret location where the Brown College tunnels lead to and the answers to your upcoming exam. They know it all. With tails fluffier than the pom poms of cheerleaders, they have become silent repositories of clandestine tales.

Students, laden with the drama of college life, find solace in the unwavering eyes and twitching noses of these stoic creatures. Perched atop their arboreal seats of power, they are the unwitting detectives. Nodding along to the beat of hushed voices, they absorb the weight of whispered confessions. But, do not let their serene demeanor fool you. Behind those beady eyes lies the calculating mind of a creature that knows the value of information. 

Rumor has it that the squirrels trade secrets with the crows for a shiny trinket or a breadcrumb or two. In desperate times, they have even been known to share gossip with human companies, ruining the chances of countless students by revealing their embarrassing deeds. They are the living, breathing embodiment of the saying, "a little bird told me," except,  in this case, it was a squirrel with an impeccably groomed tail.

Ah, the squirrels of the University are not mere campus dwellers — these small creatures cast a large shadow, bringing laughter, surprise and a touch of wildness to the manicured lawns of the University. As the seasons change and years pass, new students will come to walk the paths of the University, and they too will be welcomed by the twitching noses and knowing glances of these bushy-tailed icons. The squirrels serve as a reminder that amidst the pursuit of knowledge and the solemnity of academia, there is always room for a little mischief and joy.

So let us tip our hats to these furry campus celebrities. May their acorns be plentiful, their fur be fluffy and their antics continue to be the stuff of legend. 


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