The Difference Between Squirrels and Rats

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An elderly woman enjoys sitting in her backyard on warm fall days, tossing peanuts on top of the closed barbecue lid for the squirrels. She likes watching the cute rodents scurry up to the house and nibble on the treats. She thinks it's just adorable how they hold food in their little paws, sitting upright with their fluffy tails standing up behind them.

One sunny day, one of the squirrels is minding his own business, busy stealing birdseed from someone's birdfeeder. The elderly woman's husband is in the backyard with their beagle puppy, whistling contentedly as he grills up some dinner on the barbecue. A pair of yellow feline eyes are fixed on the squirrel in the neighbour's yard, inching their way towards him. A bird dives at the squirrel, knocking him from the ledge of the feeder and directly in front of the cat. He sees the yellow eyes and leaps away in a blind panic, as the cat flies out of the bushes after him. The squirrel races toward the old woman's house, and suddenly the beagle is tearing after them both. The cat shoots up and over the fence and into the neighbours yard, but the dog is focused on the squirrel. Just inches behind that gorgeous bushy tail, the chase leads them onto the deck, where the only option is up. The squirrel leaps desperately up and onto the barbecue, where so many of his meals had come from. The man shouts out in surprise as, with a horrible squeal of pain, the squirrel lands on the lit barbecue; his bushy tail igniting into a wild fireball. He swats the rodent off the grill and into the rain barrel, where the deadly fire is extinguished.

The beagle is put in the house, and the man grumpily disposes of his dinner while little squirrel crawls soaking wet from the rain barrel; his feet charred and his tail a skinny, hairless embarrassment.

A few days later, the old woman sets out a few peanuts for the squirrels and sits down in her old wooden lawn chair, enjoying the warm sun on her face. She hears a rustling in the grass and the scuffling sound of rodent feet climbing up the barbecue. Little squirrel, with sore feet and a hairless tail, had come for a snack. The old woman screamed in horror.

"A RAT!" She wails, "A wretched rat has come to steal my food, invade my house, oh LORD a RAT! Whatever will I do?"

She runs into the house, phones her husband and demands that he bring home the strongest rat poison they have at the hardware store.

A week later, the squirrel is dead.

What is the moral of the story?

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Comments 16 comments

Newsclipper profile image

Newsclipper 7 years ago from Michigan

Great story & great lesson!

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Would so many people care about the baby seals if they weren't so cute?

Katelyn Weel profile image

Katelyn Weel 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

thanks Newsclipper, and yes Immartin, you're exactly right..good point! I wonder, if pigs and cows were that cute would people think twice about eating them?

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Good hub with a powerful message. Appearances are not always the best judge of what is underneath.

Katelyn Weel profile image

Katelyn Weel 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I just noticed the ads beside the article are for stuff like squirrel poison and pest control...ha ha, its kind of ironic

dabeaner profile image

dabeaner 7 years ago from Nibiru

Funny. And about appearances, it's what's inside that is important. Apropos, I just saw the first episode of the new "V" TV series the other night. Nice human appearance, but what is inside? Bwah-ha-ha-ha. Beware of aliens and politicians with messages of "hope".

dabeaner profile image

dabeaner 7 years ago from Nibiru

Piglets and the pigs in cartoons are cute. Doesn't stop me from enjoying bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, pork chops. Yummm. :)

Katelyn Weel profile image

Katelyn Weel 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Real piglets are cute too! :P

Thanks for the

Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Nooo ... why did you kill the squirrel? She/he had it bad enough with burned paws and tail ... lol good story.

Katelyn Weel profile image

Katelyn Weel 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Mr. Happy, it had to be done... I'm sorry :(

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

Hi Katelyn Wow you managed to get so many things across in this story, I just loved every word of it. The quality of the writers on HubPages is outstanding and judging by this hub you are right up there with the best. Your humorous style that puts over a serious point for people to muse upon is extremely readable and enjoyable, I’m going to rate this up and become your fan/follower.

davej 3 years ago

The moral of the story? Don't accept food from old idiot women?

shostyfive 2 years ago

moral of the story: lay out the peanuts and buy a shotgun.

Diane 2 years ago

Ridiculous! If the woman did not recognize the squirrel that she was feeding all along, she really is ridiculous. In addition, feeding the squirrel on top of the grill says something about her common sense, she has none!

7 months ago

shot the old woman too

5 weeks ago

The moral of the story is that a squirrel is really just a fancy looking rat. If you switch the tail of the animal to a rat tail the two will look alike.

The squirrel is portrayed as a cute animal and often we consider it to be one, unlike the rat who is often thought of a a disgusting, disease-carrying rodent. However, do not underestimate the damage a squirrel can do to your property - especially chewing wire, as they are able to chew through anything, known to chew their way through your shingles into your attic for a warm winter stay... Etc. Be careful with rodents, bc that's a a squirrel still is..

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