Why students need shiny silver squirrel slugs

Dana Thompson

The instant someone said the word “squirrel” to Hector Clemons, he was six years old again, sitting at his grandmother’s feet and listening to her tales of horror and intrigue:

“And when Little Bluefootman walked past the elderberry bush, what should LEAP from the leaves but a bloody-mouthed SQUIRREL. He CHOMPED on Little Bluefootman’s little blue foot and ran off. Little Bluefootman was left to writhe in agony on the forest floor, waiting for death until he slowly began sprouting fur . . . and square front teeth . . . and a tail! He roamed the forest, unable to rejoin his people, continually forgetting where his nuts were buried . . .”

These Weresquirrel stories deprived Hector of days of sleep, and he was never quite able to shake his fear of Little Bluefootman and his evil, furry brethren. So when one night he was obliged to walk from fencing practice at Cordiner to his room in Lyman at 3 a.m., he was sufficiently freaked out. Every shadow was a Weresquirrel lying in wait. As he walked past the tennis courts, he noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. He froze.  Rotating slowly, he peered into the shadows beneath a sinister-looking tree . . . was that . . . was that a . . . WERESQUIRREL!

In a whirl of fur, a squirrel shot out of the darkness and onto Hector’s head, clawing and biting him.  Hector struggled valiantly, shrieking, “NO! NO! YOU WON’T MAKE ME ONE OF YOU! I WON’T BE THE NEXT LITTLE BLUEFOOTMAN!”

Screaming, Hector bolted directly into a tour guide leading a group of prospies in a What Whitman Looks Like at Ungodly Hours of the Morning tour. As they came to a halt, Hector successfully grasped the squirrel around its tiny middle and chucked it a quarter mile. He turned, breathing raggedly, to the group.

A young man from Quebec piped up, “Thees doez not happeen in my country.”

Hector replied, “I GOTTA GET TO THE HEALTH CENTER!!” and dashed off in a panic.

The tour guide took the opportunity to say, “Ah, yes, the Whitman Health Center is open 24/7, to all who are feeling unwell or potentially cursed.”

The parents in the group heaved a sigh of relief, and they all moved on to the next site.