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An Exclusive Interview With Penn State Squirrels

I know what you all are wondering: “Why would someone interview squirrels?” Let’s keep in mind that these aren’t just any squirrels. They are the squirrels that became way too normalized with Penn State students. Let me tell you about Sneezy, the Penn State icon, another day.

Because of their overtly friendly nature, I became entranced by their curiosity and lack of personal space. Have we talked about how much they love fries?

Anyway, squirrels are in every corner of campus. Each one ready to steal a snack from you. They are extremely human-like. Now that the spring weather has reappeared, I thought, “Why not talk to the squirrels? They have to have a lot to say. They have seen too much, right?”

Like any normal person, I, alongside Annie Kubiak and Mackenna Yount, gathered a bag of squirrel bait popcorn and my microphone to interview some of Penn State’s resident squirrels.

OS: Hello, squirrel. I see you have taken a piece of our popcorn. Let me introduce myself! I’m Larkin, and I am a writer for Onward State. Can you gather some friends and answer a few questions about the Penn State environment?

Squirrel: *wiggles nose*

I am going to take that as an enthusiastic “yes.”

OS: How do you feel now that students are back on campus for the warm weather? Last year, everyone was home and couldn’t enjoy the spring atmosphere. Is it nice seeing everyone again?

Squirrel: *ruffles tail and backs farther into the bush*

From what I gather, that’s a “no.” Although they enjoy company, the squirrels were basking in the peace and quiet for once. Let’s move on to some other furry volunteers.

Yes, this squirrel was a bit shy at first. With some popcorn luring, we were able to present a question with our squirrel…at the very tip of a branch.

OS: Penn State just hired a new basketball coach. That leaves me with one question: Do you think Penn State is a basketball school?

Squirrel: *moves down a couple branches and tilts head enough for it to look like a semi-convincing nod*

Well, there you have it. A Penn State squirrel is willing to consider Penn State a basketball school. They didn’t even want to bring up the term “football.”

While we had the squirrel with us, we went ahead and asked another question.

OS: Because Penn State is so heavily populated with squirrels, would you ever try to change the mascot to a squirrel? Perhaps to show better representation?

Squirrel: Larkin, we are squirrels. We do not have that type of power. Of course we would want to, but that’s a bit ridiculous.

Then, things started going downhill from there. Squirrels sprinted away from us and constantly ignored our peace offering popcorn.

However, one lucky squirrel stayed with us for a moment to answer a very serious question.

OS: We asked the Penn State ducks this back in 2015. It has been a few years since then, and new information might liven up the Penn State spirit. Do you have any details on where the Joe Paterno statue resides?

Squirrel: *hesitates for a moment, then waltzes away*

We are so close to some new tipoffs. Almost too close.

After that sensitive question, we were toast. Squirrels want nothing to do with us, which is very interesting considering their social nature. I’m thinking we have the wrong snack. Suddenly, a squirrel was spotted for our last question!

OS: For our last question, we wanted to lift the mood and see where your opinions fall. What is your favorite Creamery flavor?

Squirrel: *points to nuts under tree*

We all could have guessed peanut butter, but it was nice to feel reassured.

After about an hour and a half of searching and interviewing squirrels, we had overstayed our welcome. It seems that Penn State squirrels are friendly when they want to be. They may eat our food and walk with us to class, but that doesn’t translate to wanting one-on-one interviews.

I must say, it was an honor getting to know the animals we pass by every day.

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About the Author

Larkin Richards

Larkin is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. The only words that leave her mouth are "yinz" and "dippy eggs." Luckily, her writing has much more substance than that. As a Steelers and Pirates fan, sports can become a hot debate. Share your thoughts on dogs (specifically Boston Terriers) with her at: [email protected]

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