While walking to class, have you ever noticed the squirrels meandering around? Since I was a little kid, I have also wondered what it would like to be a squirrel. How do they communicate? Where do squirrels live? Do they have small bartering economies where they trade nuts for sticks or vice versa?

Squirrels always look like they are up to no good. Whenever you walk near them, they stare at you and remain as still as possible. Once they are under the impression that you’ve acknowledged their presence, they run away. Where do they go when winter rolls around? Do they burrow underground? Do they hide in the trees? How do they divvy up the labor? I feel as though we are closer to understanding extraterrestrial life than understanding the thought-process of squirrels.

The first time I saw a squirrel, I thought it was a type of dog. My parents would freak out when I tried to pet squirrels. There was this one squirrel in particular that I tried to befriend as a young kid.

It was the summer of   ’99. I was six years old. I had no friends. I decided to make some friends. One day, I was walking to my neighbor’s house down the street when something caught my eye: a squirrel staring straight at me. Naturally, I tried to engage in a conversation with the little critter. He didn’t respond. I pulled some goldfish snacks out of my pocket and extended my hand toward him. He accepted the offer. I named him Goldfish. Everyday for the rest of the summer, I walked down the street to feed Goldfish goldfish.

Chiodo is a member of
the class of 2017.

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