Susan Morrison: Secret squirrel’s selfless act exceeds expectations

A squirrel breaking through the enclosure at the zoo allowed one of the birds to escape
A squirrel breaking through the enclosure at the zoo allowed one of the birds to escape
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FOR a long time now I have harboured an intense dislike of squirrels. It stems, I suspect, from the first of two attacks I I have suffered at the hands of the bug-eyed little horrors.

On the first occasion, a Glasgwegian squirrel accosted me outside the underground station in Kelvinbridge. It decided to follow me, chattering in a manner that I could only describe as aggressive, all the way to the old BBC Scotland building in Queen Margaret Drive.

There was a tall, dignified gentleman waiting for a taxi. Now, pay attention young people of Edinburgh. Given the aggression we see in the squirrel population these days, it may be that one day you too need to free yourself or another person from the depredations of these short-legged, bright-eyed, bucktoothed fluff tails. The tall, elegant gentleman took his umbrella and opened and closed it rapidly and fearlessly in its face whilst saying “shushh off, you . . .”

The squirrel, finding itself confronted by a master in squirrel wrangling, promptly 
skedaddled.

The second unprovoked attack took place in London Street Gardens. I 
was jogging, with my headphones 
on and was mid-Meatloaf, when without any warning, I suddenly discovered I had a grey furry mugger attached to my ankle. I gave a scream and shook the squirrel clear, only to be promptly hand-bagged by a lady old enough – and clearly brave enough – to heckle Hitler, who told me to stop being cruel to one of God’s creatures.

The fact that I was the injured party had obviously escaped her attention, and I swear I saw the sleakit beastie shoot a grin of malicious glee in my direction as it scooted away.

Squirrels in my book are selfish, scrounging, furry little tree rats who get an easy ride because they look cute upside down dangling off a tree.

So what now am I to make of the news that one of the little monsters selflessly gnawed through a fence in Edinburgh Zoo and freed a scarlet ibis, like some sort of Great Escape for birds?

Lazy slur MPs are slacking in real world experience

A STUDY has just labelled us as some of “the laziest people in Europe”. At least we could be bothered to fill in the survey.

A new book called Britannia Unchained also brands us as being “amongst the worst idlers in the world”.

Who’s saying this? Well, it’s some Tory MPs. They have a message for Britain’s workers – you’re slackers and what you need is firm leadership and direction.

I imagine they have in mind the guy in the galley slave scene in Ben Hur who bangs the big drum to regulate the rowing speed – not forgetting his mate who administers the whip when you show signs of slowing down. Or dying.

What experiences of the low-paid, hard-working, long-hour jobs do these MPs base their finger-wagging upon? Let’s have a look.

Well, hello Kwasi Kwarteng. He’s a clever young lad. Cambridge degree, then a financial analyst, escaped before the economy hit the fan and landed in Westminster.

Oh, and here’s Priti Patel. A fiery lass who studied at Keele and then off to work for the Conservatives, she joined a public relations firm and then off she went into politics.

There’s Dominic Raab, who is a Tory rising star and is jolly brainy. A lawyer who did a stint at the Foreign Office, he then got his bahookie on a backbench.

And little Chris Skidmor, only 31, barely had time to complete his Oxford degree, before making himself comfy on the members’ terrace.

Not one of them would recognise a 12-hour shelf-stacking shift, or has faced an angry boss reading the riot act when you’re 15 minutes late because you had to drop your four-year-old off at a new nursery and she wouldn’t let you go. You’re in tears but it doesn’t matter, GDP is falling and the pound is sliding and it’s your fault. Slacker.

Let this lot near us and the whippings will increase until the galley goes so fast Boris Johnson will be able to water ski.

On the receiving end of husband’s ‘wit’

MY job entails a bit of staying in hotels overnight. My husband’s job entails working shifts, so sometimes we don’t see each other for days.

Last weekend I called home. I do that now and then. Don’t really know why. It’s not as if they miss me.

He answered, and sounded faintly surprised to hear my voice.

“Hi,” I said, “It’s me, your wife.” I thought I ought to introduce myself. “I’m in Newcastle. I’ve been here since Thursday.”

“Oh,” he said, realisation dawning “THAT’S what it is. I thought I’d gone deaf.”

Harry shouldn’t be sent on guilt strip

POOR little Prince Harry. It’s not that long ago that he got into trouble for wearing a seriously unsuitable outfit for a birthday party. Now he’s in trouble for another unsuitable birthday suit. The boy can’t win.