A day in the life of a UC Berkeley squirrel

Ethan Epstein/File

6:35 a.m.: The light pokes into my nest, signaling the start of a new day of swindling freshmen and tourists into splitting their bagels with me. As I scamper down the tall redwood I call home, I spy one of my good friends, a raccoon, perched atop a trashcan outside of Haas Pavilion. Normally I’d stop to say hi, but we’re both busy. Later, perhaps.

7:52 a.m.: Students with 8 a.m.s have arrived! I decide to block the path of one particularly tiny student, whose lanyard (with a Cal1 Card attached, of course) screams “first-year!” Unfortunately, it would appear this potential benefactor has forgotten about Berkeley time. How can I tell? The mumbled mantra of “can’t be late to class, can’t be late to class, can’t be late to class,” coupled with the fact that the Campanile hasn’t even struck 8 a.m. yet is a classic indicator that an individual hasn’t quite picked up on all of UC Berkeley’s quirks yet.

10:17 a.m.: Here comes the first tour of the day! I’ve decided to stake out a spot right by Pappy’s statue so that I can pose charmingly on his head and (hopefully) earn a bit of a granola bar. Success! Someone’s younger sibling leaves a few broken Goldfish crackers by Pappy’s feet for me. I’d call that a win.

1:33 p.m.: Now to Memorial Glade, where I’ll try my charms on the coeds tossing around Frisbees. It’s also a great place for blatant food theft: Don’t leave your sandwiches from GBC unattended, everyone. Suddenly, I hear the unmistakable crinkle of a potato chip bag. There! I make my way across the grass, until I reach the picnic blanket of my choosing. These students must be upperclassmen though — as soon as they spot me, the bag of potato chips mysteriously vanishes. Better luck next time.

3:48 p.m.: There’s another demonstration on Sproul today, which means lots and lots of curious onlookers — with their mid-afternoon snacks. I walk right up to the feet of one curious character, press my paws under my chin and sweep my tail side to side. For my troubles I receive a crumbling bit of a Top Dog bun. This is almost too easy.

7:26 p.m.: Campus has all but emptied out now. I return to my tree to take stock of my spoils for the day: crackers, pastries, bread crumbs, etc. Not a bad day, if I do say so myself. Tucking my tail around, I settle in for a good night’s sleep, so I can wake up and do it all again.

Contact Jamie Campbell at [email protected].