Close Encounters of the Squirrel Kind
I’ve always been a big fan of movies, especially Disney ones. Amongst my favorite animated moments are ones that have included quirky animal sidekicks. A few of my top picks include Evinrude, the exhausted motorboat dragonfly in the Rescuers, Tick Tock, the mischievous crock from Peter Pan and of course Cyril Proudbottom, the dopey Clydesdale that accompanied Mr. Toad on many of his wild rides. Out of all the Disney animals, there’s always been a special place in my heart for squirrels. As a little girl, I had Chip and Dale dolls instead of Mickey Mouse and I would always ask my mom to rewind the scene in Sword and the Stone where Merlin and Wart venture into the treetops as squirrels. My most beloved squirrel moment is in Sleeping Beauty where Aurora is cutting a rug with her animal friends with a darling little squirrel leading the way.
Its only because of a recent close encounter that I now realize some Disney moments, especially ones containing squirrels, are better left in the movies.
In a rush out the door this past Tuesday morning, I left my water bottle in the kitchen. With the front door wide open, I turned back to grab it off the counter and upon turning back around, found my very own Disney squirrel, Mr. Nutter Butters, in my living room. The back-story on Mr. Nutter Butters is that he has been hanging around my house for sometime now, but has kept a respectable distance up until Tuesday morning. He enjoys a nice peanut (hence his name) and I’ve always felt a little bad for him because he’s clearly the third wheel with a squirrel couple living in the Redwood outside my front door.
Back to my point. Here I was, having my very own, personal, Disney squirrel moment, but to my surprise, it was not as wonderful as I had hoped. Quite the opposite actually. Having a big black squirrel sitting in the middle of your living room is quite unsettling and not Disney magical at all. My gut response wasn’t to dance around, to shake his little paw in polite greeting or even to offer him a small snack. Instead I screamed in a very un-Disney way, “Mr. Nutter Butters! Get out of here!” which only made him sit down and give me a look which implied “I’m just stopping by for a cup of tea and maybe to do a little dancing. What’s the problem?” So I yelled again, kicked my legs about, and finally shooed him out the front door,
It was only when my living room was squirrel-free that I realized that some Disney moments translate beautifully into real life, while clearly, others do not. I’ll continue to hope for a charming Prince and a happy ending, but done are my days of wishing for the power to charm the animals like Snow White or Princess Aurora. Hopefully, I’ll have many more Disney movie moments yet to come, but my fingers are crossed that none of them will involve animals.