Squirrels Don’t Get Sad

So my daughter and I are heading to Watsonville to see the Friday 3:00 showing of Cats and Dogs – The Revenge of Kitty Galore – when she asks a most unusual question.

“Do squirrels have feelings?”

“What do you mean by do they have feelings?”

“I mean, do they get sad.”

“Well squirrels don’t really get happy or sad the way we think of it.  They can feel stressed or relaxed and that will affect their mood.  If one of their friends should suddenly die in front of them I assume they would feel a bit of loss.  I would also assume if they found a bunch of nuts they would feel excitement.  But squirrels can’t feel the same depth of emotions that we do.  Like a squirrel won’t feel sad because another squirrel is making fun of it.  They can’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.  They don’t have regrets and they don’t care if you’re their friend are not.  So you really can’t hurt a squirrel ‘s feelings.”

“Well, then I want to be a squirrel.  That way when people make fun of me I won’t feel sad.”

So when we get home I tell my partner the story.

“That makes sense actually. We were in Scott’s valley at this park where the “wild’ squirrels were really tame. They’d come right up and eat food from your hand. She played with them for a long time and really liked it.”

“Ahhh, I can see how that would seem like an ideal life. Her question makes a lot more sense now.”

3 Responses to “Squirrels Don’t Get Sad”

  • Michael Says:

    Except I think you forgot the obvious question: “Is someone making fun of you?” Obviously it happens sometimes, but for a kid to want to escape to squirrel life, maybe it’s happening a little too much?


    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Correct, but I already knew about her being made fun of. She does it to other kids to. It’s a spontaneous gang thing and one of her friends is the main instigator but my daughter doesn’t have the discipline and self confidence to put her foot down instead of going along with it. It’s minor silly girl’s stuff that you’d expect from a seven year olds. Nonsensical rhymes, hiding another child’s stuff, things like that.

    My daughter also wants to be a dog, though she doesn’t actually like them in real life. She likes the idea of a dog, just not the actual dog. She had a dog dish, some collars, some chew toys and a bunch of stuffed dogs. When she get’s into character it’s best to address her as you would a dog if you expect to get her attention. If she ever gets comfortable performing in front of strangers she’ll make a fine actor.


  • Jose@Clawfoot Tub Faucets Says:

    Ha, that’s funny! Thanks for sharing. The things kids think of are pretty amazing sometimes. My 7 year old son is always surprising me with some of the things he says. Like, “when my fish dies, will he go to heaven,” and so forth.
    .-= Jose@Clawfoot Tub Faucets´s lastest blog ..Why Use a Clawfoot Tub Shower Enclosure =-.


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