Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Squirrel of Ancient Parchment

Exactly twice in my life, confusion between the word scroll and squirrel has caused some amount of frustration on my part, and I’m curious to know if this has happened to anyone else.

First, in grade school, a girl lent me her copy of one of the Where’s Waldo? books, the one where in addition to stupid, candy-striped Waldo you also have to find the wizard and a scroll of paper. This was all explained to me by the book-lender, who did a great job talking up the whole Where’s Waldo series — such a good job, in fact, that I didn’t bother to read the instructions and therefore went cross-eyed trying to find the hidden squirrels. When I gave the book back to her, admitting my failure at finding the hidden squirrels, she laughed at me for not knowing the difference between a rodent and a rolled up piece of paper. However, even as she said scroll then, it still sounding like she was saying squirrel.

Second, during my freshman year of college, I remember having a classic, in-the-dorms bonding session about, you know, movies and life and stuff. We ended up talking about anime, and how the majority of it was unwatchable — pointlessly weird or just plain cutesy — but a small portion of it was actually pretty good. My suggested example? Ninja Scroll. Nathan laughed at me. He laughed for an extended period of time, in fact, until he finally stopped an told me I was a worthless human being for liking something called Ninja Squirrel. I’m surprised we managed to become friends in spite of this incident.

I should like to point out that this Google image search indicates that Ninja Squirrels are totally things. But I’d also like to restate my question: Am I the only person in the world for whom the apparent similarity between scroll and squirrel will be a recurring theme? I mean, cool if it is, I guess, but I’d be interested to see how it could possibly crop up a third time.


Also, I realize that I’ve been writing about cute, small animals with unusual frequency. A hamster. The pre-Easter bunny. A chicken. The ducks. One frog in particular. Now this. My favorite English professor would tell me that I’m expressing guilt. She would fire of a list of literary works where the appearance of small animals accompanied a character’s growing sense of regret. Now I’m thinking about that, too.


  1. I don't believe I've confused scroll and squirrel, but I did manage to convince myself once that squirrel was half squiggle and half whirl. A confusing conversation that was.

    Anyway, when you meet the inevitable weasel, you should note that it is a basilisk's worst nightmare.

    1. Have you ever seen a squirrel move? They are mostly squiggle and whirl.

      And I shall take note of this and restrict my basilisk's movements.

  2. We have an Insurance company here in Oz named "Choosi." They're brokers for a few companies, and ferret around for good deals.
    Because of our Aussie accents, and having the presenter on the ad an adenoidal simpleton with the perkiness of a ferret, it always sounds like "Cheesy." "Ring Cheesy for the best deals blah blah." It's good.

    1. Ah yes. Most of my family lives in New Zealand. I have more than once heard "six" as "sucks," those crazy vowel-swallowers.