January 13, 2008

"But in a battle between a rat and a squirrel, my money is going to be on the rat."

Darrin Lunde, museum mammalogy maven, opines, in response to musings about the rodents that share the ecosystem that is Central Park.
Mr. Lunde recalled a scene a few years back, around twilight, near the north entrance to the Central Park Zoo: "Someone had strung up a duffel bag full of peanuts, and the place was just swarming with squirrels, but with only one great big brown rat sitting on top of the pile and battling off all the squirrels around him. I still remember that rat."
A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, a few years back, I was walking through the north entrance to Central Park Zoo, and someone had strung up a duffel bag full of peanuts. The place was just swarming with squirrels, but with only one great big brown rat sitting on top of the pile. I only saw him for one second. He didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that rat.

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13 comments:

vet66 said...

Just like congress, the 'rats' control the nuts! The only difference is we call it pork...

James Wigderson said...

Charles Foster Kane: You can't buy a bag of peanuts in this town without someone writing a song about you.

Kirk Parker said...

I'm not sure sure: what if the rats don't have light sabers?

peter hoh said...

I can believe that he remembers that scene. I still remember where I encountered a particularly brazen rat in Philadelphia. I remember the park, and that I was on the east side of a park, and had just turned northwest.

peter hoh said...

And I meant to add, it was more than 25 years ago.

Ann Althouse said...

I encountered a muskrat when I was walking home from kindergarten. I froze and had no idea what to do until the safety -- remember safeties? -- told me "It's just a muskrat." That was more than half a century ago.

rhhardin said...

Safety patrol wasn't all that easy to get on. Demand was high because you got out of class early. I never got higher than substitute safety patrol person, and that involved a waiting list.

Back in those days you didn't officiously stop traffic. You watched traffic and waited for a gap.

What you officiously stopped was little kids.

There are rats and there are rats. Norway rats seem to be at the top of the food chain. Pet store rats actually like you and hang out on your shoulder.

Squirrels would be intermediate. Ones raised from babies think you're a tree but are not particularly affectionate. The best you get is that they're not frightened of you.

Chipmunks can be domesticated at any age.

Trooper York said...
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Meade said...

If you have chipmunks or squirrels (or mice for that matter) - in your garden, courtyard, or third-floor guest room/study - you can be rid of them by getting a pair of cats.

But, of course, then you would have cats.

Chip Ahoy said...

I do good imitation of characters on moose and squirrel, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Two of dem. Unrelenting and brazen. Soon, the whole room talks like Boris, talks like Natasha. It's infectious.

rhhardin said...

Ayn Rand did great moose and squirrel.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

My money is on the squirrel. No contest.