This is the latest in TMN staff writer Allison Maschoff’s collection of short fiction stories.
After months of intense investigation coupled with immersive study in Squeakonese, I finally have conclusive information to report to you. Some will skip over this exposé in favor of the latest serial killer or celebrity scandal, but believe you me, this is the real breaking news. What I have found will change everything.
Squirrels have long been a subject of conversation on American college campuses, but none have dared the sort of investigation I have undertaken. In truth, the largest stumbling block for most would-be researchers has been communication. In a shocking linguistic and cultural lapse, to this day no one has made a lexical translation of Squeakonese to English. In this so-called globalizing world, we humans have completely ignored the massive squirrel population. There are over 200 species of squirrels in the world and at least five of these reside within the United States (Gardner). Personally, this reporter finds it insulting to this major American minority that such an oversight has been allowed to persist. For this reason, I undertook the daunting task of learning to translate Squeakonese myself. I did this largely with the help of “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Phineas and Ferb.” Really, of all major corporations, The Walt Disney Company has done more for squirrels than any other company.
Once I had mastered the complex language of Squeakonese, I went out into the field and began forming relationships with squirrels on Truman State University’s campus. It was not particularly difficult. These squirrels are extraordinarily comfortable with humans; they are very nearly domesticated. But what began as lighthearted conversations about acorns and lawnmowers took a disturbing turn after about two months. I can now confirm what many have speculated about behind locked doors for the last decade: the squirrel spy ring. You may be dismayed to learn this is in no way connected to the Organization Without a Cool Acronym.
I do not have exciting news for those of you who are waiting for proof that the United States Government is behind this either. It seems that this is a completely squirrel-driven enterprise. Don’t worry, though. My next project will be on birds, specifically pigeons.
From what I could understand, our gross disinterest in the squirrel population is not reciprocated. As reported by Gizmodo Media Group, squirrels are constantly and consistently observing their human neighbors (Goldman). It seems that over the course of the last two hundred years, the squirrel population has learned and improved upon our concept of the democratic republic and is well organized and interconnected throughout the continental U.S.. The path to this impressive governmental structure began with special units dedicated to human studies on, you guessed it, college campuses.
Once they became satisfied with their own organizational and political prowess, they turned to formal espionage. In all reality, we should not be surprised; all nations eventually develop a national intelligence organization of some sort. And while it took the United States did not form the first iteration of the Central Intelligence Agency until over one hundred and fifty years after George Washington’s election, the squirrels continued the trend in industrialization that tracks a faster development in tandem with a later start (“History”). They have had an active and well-structured spy organization since the 1830s, perhaps thanks to their observations of the Culper Spy Ring (History.com Editors).
If you would like to learn more about my findings, please purchase my new book “Friend or Foe: An Introduction to Squirrel Spies and Rudimentary English to Squeakonese Dictionary.” It can be found at any major bookseller except Amazon because (spoiler alert) Jeff Bezos is in fact in league with the squirrels.
Goldman, Jason G. “The Squirrels Are Watching You.” Gizmodo, Gizmodo, 6 Jan. 2016, gizmodo.com/the-squirrels-are-watching-you-1633123182#:~:text=And%2C%20as%20i%20turns%20out,more%20likely%20to%20run%20away.