Saturday, June 16, 2018
I haven't been strolling around Washington Park in Denver in a long time, but I remember the last time. I got mugged. It was quite traumatic.
Really, the squirrels there are a bunch of thugs! I guess they're so used to being fed by park-goers that if you walk on by them without throwing some food - and lots of it - there's hell to pay.
When I saw this week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "squirrel", I had an anxiety moment remembering that mugging.
But then I was able to shift my thoughts to several years prior when one of the Christmas gifts I received was simply a small grey stuffed squirrel toy from my mom. I don't remember how old I was, but I remember that I was old enough to almost be too old for stuffed animals.
I asked my mom about its significance, and she said, "I dunno, I just like squirrels". And probably because of that, I've kept that little stuffed squirrel for a long time.
Squirrels are not that common in the Philippines where my mom grew up, and I remember that she pronounced it funny. Where I say "squirl", she pronounced it more like "squeer-el"
I thought her strange pronunciation was her Philippine accent kicking in, but I have since learned that the word is pronounced my mom's way in the UK and Australia. So maybe it's us Americans who can't say it properly.
All this to say that I prefer toy "squirls" to live ones these days. But maybe the ones in the park have mellowed since my last visit. After all, that was before the legalization of recreational marijuana.
As I was making this drawing and having these banal thoughts, it occurred to me that my small tortillon looks much like a marijuana joint.
So, are the squirrels nicer now? Or have their munchies gotten worse?
And how should we pronounce... that word?