Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gray Squirrel

From a handbook of years gone by:

"In purchasing a squirrel, be careful to select a young one: when taken old, they are sulky and morose in disposition, and almost incapable of being tamed, besides being far less beautiful in their appearance. Old squirrels may easily be distinguished from the young, for they are larger, have stouter limbs, are of darker colour, more inclining to sandy-brown, with less of the reddish tinge in it; their teeth are also larger and stronger, and perfectly yellow, and their tails by no means so full and bushy as those of young animals. A fine young squirrel may be purchased of a bird-fancier for about five shillings. In the country they may be obtained, much cheaper, of the boys who sometimes catch them. They are often brought to Whitechapel hay market by the farmers' boys."

Cassell's Handbooks. Handbook About Our Domestic Pets. New York, London, 1862. 60. Web. Google Book Search. 21 Jul 2009


  1. Remind me to NOT be eating my breakfast anywhere near my laptop next time I click on to your blog- I laughed out loud when I saw this squirrel photo and almost covered my screen and keyboard with milk and cereal! What a great shot!
    Makes me sad to think they were captured as pets- I will not dwell on that aspect. Our squirrels are clowns and entertain us with their daily antics; they know that my dog cannot get them from inside the house as she stares at them through the windows- they taunt her endlessly. We have an old apple tree right outside one window and the squirrels love to sit in it all winter and spring eating the naturally dried fruit (while looking in at us!). The smaller red squirrels love pine cones and we find the stripped cores/stalks all along the top of the railings on our deck. Both reds and greys will come right up to the windows and go nose to nose with my dog who literally vibrates with excitement. She can stand it just so long then lets them have it with wild barking. The squirrels run back up the tree and resume staring back inside. I think they enjoy competing with each other as to who can taunt the poor dog the longest!

  2. stunned as this one was, a great pose and what a shot. alice in wonderland-ish. we dont have them in india, we have what you'd call chipmunks but we call them squirrels.

  3. Did the milk come out your nose? :-)

    My, between your pet deer and mischievous squirrels, you guys are so entertained! By the way, that is some wonderfully descriptive and entertaining writing.

    Thanks, TT! Besides gray squirrels and chipmunks, there are these wonderful little red squirrels that Gretchen mentions. I don't see very many, so it's always a real treat when I do.