A male Eastern Gray Squirrel approaches a female's den in a tree cavity.

Shakespeare for Squirrels

Two Romeos, one Juliet.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
O, that I were a glove upon that hand
That I might touch that cheek!

These are lines from the Bard’s most famous play, of course. The story came to mind last week when I noticed two squirrels engaged in a chase. As the critters careened through the trees, with their signature acrobatic leaps and hairpin turns, I couldn’t say who was pursuing whom. I thought initially—it being spring, after all—that I was watching a Romeo in pursuit of his Juliet.

But then I spied the true object of these squirrels’ desire.

Juliet, it turned out, was also watching the acrobatics—from her balcony. Two Romeos—the frenetic squirrels—vied for her attention. I began filming as they reached the tree from whence their Juliet gazed.

But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

Take a look at the two Romeos. I think you’ll particularly enjoy the cheeky (pun intended!) fellow who won the right to approach said yonder window. If your browser or device permits, be sure to view the video in full-screen mode, so you don’t miss any of Juliet’s facial expressions.

I’m left with several questions. What does Juliet’s quivering cheek tell us about her state of mind?   What happened to the suitor who didn’t make it to the balcony? And of course, did Juliet favor her Romeo with some affection?

I welcome your hypotheses!

3 thoughts on “Shakespeare for Squirrels”

  1. She seemed none too pleased that he entered her abode with an invitation. As soon as he trespassed, she vacated!

    1. And she was mighty quick in her escape. I tried to follow the two of them as they bolted from the den, but that became impossible when they jumped from the tree into the underbrush. So, we can only wonder if she out-ran him!

  2. Fascinating photos and astute observations! I’m inclined to agree, Juliet was not pleased with Romeo’s persistence.

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