August 28, 2008

What sound does a squirrel make?

Actually, that is not precisely my question, as I have heard a great number of squirrels make a great deal of noise. Just yesterday, Elliot and I had a long conversation of sorts with a squirrel on our back porch, who was mad at us because we wouldn't leave and allow him to dig up my flower boxes in peace. It is our dialogue with him that provokes my question, which really is something more like, "how would you transcibe the noises that a squirrel makes? What is the correct squirrel onomatopeia?"

I think they actually make three noises. They do a "tcktcktcktck" thing which reminds me of the cartoon Riki-Tiki-Tavi; while they do this one they often wriggle, like they're doing a squirrel-version of the dolphin kick, that also seems rather mongoose-ish to me. Also, they kind of growl. That's easy, like "grrrrr" but really low. But then, the screeching sound they make? How would you transcribe that? Like, "ReH! ReH! REE!" Is that it?

It's funny that squirrels aren't really in our cultural repetoire of "animal noises." Farms and safari trips seem to have the lock on animal noises, while your average urban dweller is excluded. But I think we need to remedy this gap, because after dogs and cats squirrels are the animals Elliot interacts with most often.

In other news: it is Kate Mann's birthday! Happy Derbay Kate Mann! Elliot is excited to sing to you tonight! And! It is my parent's THIRTY-EIGHTH wedding anniversary! That is a lot of years, people. Let me take this public forum to say: thank you so much, mama and papa, for being such great examples of how to make a happy, sustaining family. Elliot and I are both forever forever grateful.

1 comment:

Beck said...

We see a lot of squirrels. I would say tcktcktck is a very good representation of what they sound like, and I would say that the cultural problem with them is that although they are cute, they are also repulsive. Repulsive animals do not get much play in the world of children's animal books.

WE have a chipmunk who rather unwisely decided to make his home right next to the baby's sandbox, so he stands up on his hind legs and screams at us all the time. (for the record: eeee! EEEEEE! EEEEEEE! Calm down, little chipmunk dude!)