Don't be fooled. He may look cute. He may look harmless, but he seems to me like a vicious rodent that makes my daily walk THE WALK OF FEAR!
There is a long line of irrational hatred for the red squirrel. My grandmother used to hop out of her chair and shuffle to the window when she saw the pesky red squirrel, grab the phone, call my 14-year old cousin from across the road, instruct him to bring his gun because she has another "damn red squirrel". Sure enough, he'd take his best shot with hopes of a kill, but usually just scared the red beast.
My parents go into detail when sharing about the kind gray squirrels that eat the seed they put out in their yard, yet when they start describing the greedy red squirrel and their bully tendencies, they show the acorn doesn't fall too far from the tree with their hatred of the red squirrel.
So, now, I am surrounded by trees that have squirrels poking out of every branch. Not just poking, but scattering...jumping...freezing...staring. I will be on a walk and without warning a squirrel will jump out at me stare and be very, very bothered with me. Sometimes, he will hold onto his acorn and give me a scornful look, like, "Back off." I walked my garbage over to the dumpster and as I threw the bag in, a gray squirrel jumped out and made the worst sound I have ever heard. Their little hands and their little claws disturb me. I am afraid they might mistake me for a tree. They might think I am a threat and attack me as I sit on my favorite park bench after my walk. You never know. If red squirrels can be mean, I have a feeling that the gray squirrel can too. And there are just so many of them in my neighborhood! It is a matter of playing the odds, I think.