Killing Squirrels – By @danieljburkitt

By Dan Burkitt


Killing Squirrels


My mum killed a squirrel last week. I was shocked. I’m a vegetarian. I would never kill a squirrel. Or eat one. But she’d probably do both, the callous carnivore. That’s a bit unfair. I should explain why she killed the poor, delicious creature. It wasn’t a cold-blooded squirrel homicide, it was self-defence; they’ve been attacking our home.


A small squirrel squadron burrowed into our roof, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Does that crime deserve to be met with capital punishment? Potentially. Maybe it’s a bit harsh. Maybe there are squirrels in other gardens, subject to less authoritarian regimes. But my mum put out a metal cage, filled it with peanuts, and lured in an unsuspecting squirrel bandit to a gruesome and untimely demise.


Now, put yourself in the small, furry shoes of the squirrel for a second. You’re going about your business, stealing bird seed from bird feeders, running around, shagging other squirrels, having a grand old time, and suddenly ooh what’s that you can smell. Peanuts. Tasty, tasty peanuts. And they’re in a slightly confined space. Well, that’s not a big deal you’re pretty small, you squeeze into small spaces all the time. You go in. 


You hear a crash. The way back out is blocked. You’re stuck, you’re panicking. You cry out for your squirrel friends, your squirrel partner, but they’re nowhere to be seen. You scream until you’re hoarse and then slowly slump into a despondent silence. You realise the peanuts are your last meal.


This was the scene that confronted my mum when she returned to the trap, licking her lips. She picked up the cage and muttered, ‘Not so clever now, are you, you little bastard’. And she took the cage to the kitchen sink, plunging it underwater. The squirrel struggled and thrashed but it was hopeless against the weight of the cage. My mum laughed. She fired up the BBQ. This would be a memorable dinner for one.  


That’s not what happened, obviously. She was pretty upset about the execution and didn’t eat it. But she did drown a squirrel in the kitchen sink, which is pretty fucking savage. I wash dishes in there. But I was strangely impressed by her ability to dispose of him/her.


I had lain down the gauntlet because I’d said that if she couldn’t kill a squirrel, she shouldn’t eat meat. And she loves meat. It would probably be quite an effective way to reduce global meat consumption if you had to kill every animal you ate. But that’s not a very interesting or innovative thought is it. And logistically it would be a complete nightmare. Are we all supposed to keep livestock or go to abattoirs every day? Fuck off, you veggie nutcase, that’s impossible.


But what if you had to drown a squirrel in your own kitchen sink every day as a kind of meat-eaters forfeit. That would probably be somewhat actionable, somewhat effective, and completely horrifying.


So what have I learned from the Balham Squirrel Slaughter of 2019? Apparently, drowning squirrels is the most humane way to kill them. My mum is capable of drowning another living being. And most disturbingly of all, a small fluffy spirit now haunts our home. I can hear splashing and muffled squeaks late at night. Life is brutal. 




The copy scores 76.9 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

Related SCABs

Go back

Student Application

  • Fill out the Application Form below to be a part of our next Award-Winning intake.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY