Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#52: Talking About Squirrels

One reason why people love the campus of Notre Dame is the layout of grassy quads surrounded by buildings.  The lack of streets going through the middle of campus not only helps to retain and promote this convergence of grass, trees, sidewalks, and buildings; but it also helps the native squirrel population to thrive like no place else.

At Notre Dame, squirrels are everywhere.  They roam the trees and shrubberies of God Quad, burrow under bushes next to dorm entrances, climb trees around the lakes, and run across sidewalks with nothing to fear.  While most students call Notre Dame home, they are merely passing thru; these squirrels will truly never experience life outside the bubble.

These squirrels are not ordinary squirrels, however, but are unusually plump because they make their home at Notre Dame.  While many theories explain the abnormally large squirrels at Notre Dame, the best explanation for their excess is their diet that not only contains nuts, leaves, and natural byproducts of trees, but leftover Sbarro pizzas and half-empty Keystone Lights they find in the dumpsters behind the dorms.

Because of the squirrels’ unusual heft, Notre Dame Students have become obsessed with them.  Notre Dame Students will talk about squirrels far more often than necessary; they will write Observer Viewpoint letters about squirrels, they will take pictures of the squirrels, they leave food in strange places for the squirrels, and they might even name their bookstore basketball teams after squirrels.

At the end of the day, however, the squirrels at Notre Dame are no different than those anywhere else in the world (or at least the greater Midwest) except for the fact that they are talked about by Notre Dame Students in excessively unnecessary ways. 


  1. hi,

    I am a graduate student from Spain and I love these squirrels here. Long live ND squirrels!

  2. I just found this blog today (current ND student) and have been reading for several hours; this is by far my favorite post. Very well-written, hilarious! Good picture choice, too :D

  3. these squirrels freak me out. why do they have to come RIGHT up to you??