So take your average squirrel:
A bit rodenty for my taste, but the bushy tail helps me forgive him for his origins.
Awhile back, the E-man kept having nightmares about squirrels. His piercing screams in the middle of the night sent us sprinting down the hallway, convinced there must be a real live animal lurking in his bedroom.
“When did he develop such a fear of squirrels?” I asked Hubs.
“I have no idea,” my spouse replied.
“You didn’t let them watch anything questionable on Discovery, did you?” I pressed.
“No! We haven’t seen any shows that feature squirrels. And besides, what could possibly make them look scary? They run around clutching acorns. It’s not like they’re launching themselves at antelope or gazelles.”
And then it hit me.
Each week, the kids’ daycare has Movie Day. The teachers are pretty strict about what movies children can bring in. Only G-rated movies allowed.
Could it be that someone had successfully smuggled in the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
I did a little Googling and pulled up this clip from YouTube. It shows the complete squirrel scene, during which 100 or so squirrels launch themselves at Veruca as she screams and thrashes. Eventually, they surround her, tap her on the head and then carry her off to the hole that will dump Veruca into the incinerator — which, luckily, isn’t working.
Well, hell. That scene creeped me out. No wonder the little E-man was so terrified.
This happened last year. I figured he had long gotten over his fear of squirrels — until this morning.
As we walked out onto the front porch, the E-man froze.
“Squirrel!” he shrieked. Then he vanished back into the house, slamming the door behind him.
This morning’s incident eradicated any lingering guilt I had about not taking him to see Up with Tootie.
Because this —
— would surely have plunged the E-man into hysterics.