By Victoria Shariati
You’ve seen it around campus and I know that you do a double take every time. Were your eyes playing tricks on you, or was that really a tailless squirrel? It’s the unofficial mascot of Ryerson, haunting the streets and turning heads.
Allow me to transport you to a moment in time when the tailless squirrel did, in fact, still have a tail.
You could say that this is a (forgive me) tale of happier times.
It was October and the squirrel was lounging in a tree outside of Kerr Hall East. She had been scavenging for food all day, and to no avail.
A group of Ryerson students were sitting outside the building, holding small paper bags of food. All of the bags appeared to have the same mysterious logo. The squirrel watched enviously as they eagerly inhaled their high-calorie snacks. She even witnessed one student shove half of an oat bar into his gaping maw.
As the students departed, they left behind their garbage. Our furry friend wandered over to where they had been sitting and took a look inside of one particularly heavy-looking bags. In it, she discovered a half-eaten scone.
Could she really be so lucky? The squirrel, shaking with excitement, took the scone apart piece-by-piece and devoured it.
Upon closer inspection, the logo on the bag looked familiar. She glanced up.
Alas! The source of all of her joy; there was a building right across the street that presented the same logo! The squirrel finished her scone and hatched a plan.
When the store closed, our curious protagonist bolted across the empty street in the dead of night, entering the building through a window that was (conveniently) left open. It was dark, but there was a sliver of light reaching under a nearby door.
She gently pushed it open.
What she witnessed next was truly a sight. The squirrel watched as the store’s staff held hands and stood in a circle, chanting in tongues. In the centre were dozens of black candles.
Our friend felt like she was witnessing something that she was not supposed to see and turned to leave before it was too late.
It was at that moment when one of the humans opened their eyes.
“Halt! What’s that? Vermin!” She screeched.
The staff began to come after her and the humble rodent ran for the door. In attempts to trap her, one of the frenzied employees slammed the steel door, but it caught her tail.
Surely, the squirrel thought as she whimpered in pain, it was broken.
She safely made her way out of the building. Exhausted from her wild brush with death, she quickly fell asleep.
When she awoke, she discovered that (however biologically inaccurate) her tail had wilted off and died, much like her dreams of ever tasting another bite of scone.