When I go back and think of all of the different bits of inspiration that came together to form Evil Squirrel and friends as we know them, there is one critical source that really drove the whole evolution, and at the very least was where Evil got his name from. It all started in a backyard in Norman, Oklahoma, a backyard I visit every year at this time as part of a get-together of some of my friends from that other place I frequently refer to. It was the tales told from a canine perspective of the squirrels that lurked in this yard that gave Evil Squirrel his identity, but in my three past visits here I had yet to see hide nor hair of this legendary beast. That most certainly changed yesterday, and who else would I honor as this week’s Saturday Squirrel than the real life inspiration behind my flagship character (or at least one of his decendants).
He made several appearances yesterday at the birdfeeder my friend had just put up, which I was able to record for posterity. The first thing that obviously surprised me was his size… this was one big squirrel! Much bigger than any of the squirrels I have seen back home! And while I’m probably the worst person at identifying different creatures, I’d say by the brownish coloring on the underbelly as well as the extra size, that ES in the fur is actually a fox squirrel! I’d never seen this sciurine species before with my own eyes, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the fact that for the last five years I had been drawing ES as a grey when he was really a fox!
The feeder was hung tantalizingly close to the fence, perhaps with a bit of ulterior intention behind it. Our real life mangy rodent had no trouble figuring out how to shake the feeder to get the seed to fall on the ground, where it made an easy meal for him. He put on quite a show for his bestest friend, who also delighted to see her favorite squirrel for the first time.
My weekend was obviously made by getting to witness for myself one of the keys figures that helped define my series of characters I have made popular here! I hope yours goes just as well!