This January 21 will be host to several national holidays: National Hugging Day, National Granola Bar Day and, perhaps most fitting of all for us at BJU, National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Everyone knows that it’s impossible to set foot on campus without seeing these crazy rodents running about everywhere. Squirrels have become as much of a staple in Bob Jones culture as The Den or our dress code. That’s why we’ve collected some stories as an homage to these infamous animals.
The Sneak Attack
It was just another day for freshman Paul Bernard. “It was the beginning of the semester and my friends, Juan and Aubrey and I had just got done eating and Juan was pushing me out of the DC,” he said. “I was in a wheelchair because I got my leg broken playing soccer. As we were wheeling down the sidewalk, I [saw] some bushes moving. As a joke, I used my boot, my bad leg, to kick inside the bush. And, I’m not even kidding, something like twenty squirrels ran out. I’m pretty sure one of them even ran on top of my leg. If someone walked past all they would’ve seen were three boys yelling.”
Predator and Prey
Senior Laurent Cadet had some stories of his own, as well. “So, I was just walking back after soccer practice, and I saw a squirrel just eating its food or something, minding its own business. I was talking with some friends, and I saw a hawk or eagle or whatever start circling overhead. I sort of knew what was going to happen, but I couldn’t look away, and the thing just snatched the squirrel from the ground and started eating it. Like something out of a horror movie. People were taking pictures and videos, too.”
A Helpless Baby
“And another time,” Cadet continued, “there was an orphan baby squirrel outside of Johnson. Its mom must have died or something, and a few guys felt bad. So, we all started feeding it apples and stuff. Eventually, it got so used to us that we were able to take it inside and take care of it before letting it go once it got healthy again. That was definitely my most interesting experience with a squirrel, and I sort of liked that little guy, even though it nipped me once while I was holding it.”
Professional development and event coordinator Natalie Smith also had a few squirrel stories to share. “I used to be the [Residence Hall] Supervisor of Georgia Creel, and one time a squirrel made it into the study lounge that is at the end of the building. The door just opens up to the outside, and it snuck in one day. By the time I found out about it, they were able to chase him out.
“Over the years, I know they have made nests in people’s cars that live on campus, especially [those] who park regularly behind the girl’s residence halls and done some damage. Looking out my window from Creel one day, I saw like six to seven of them chasing each other around and around a parked car.
“And one day I took a picture of one that was on the screen of my window. I looked up when I heard a noise, and he was right there on my window just clinging to the screen. It was funny! He stayed up there on and in the window sill for a little bit.”
In spite of all the craziness they cause, stories like these are all part of the Bob Jones experience. And since today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, it’s a better day than ever to appreciate these squirrels that make all of our lives just a little bit more interesting!