Letter To the Squirrels

I found the weirdest thing yesterday. On top of one of the Quad garbage cans, someone had left a ripped envelope with the words “TO THE SQUIRRELS” printed across the front. Beside it was a dirty and chewed-up letter. After only the first few lines, I realized it was important and have copied it, to the best of my ability, below. 


Due to your villainy and disobedience, your employment at the University of Illinois will be terminated in three weeks, should your behavior not change. Collectively, you were appointed to be a mascot, not a menace. As charming as cartoon depictions of you may be, we are more than willing to sacrifice marketing appeal for the wellbeing and safety of our students.

If you would like specific examples, we can easily list some of your inadequacies, which have only increased alongside our dissatisfaction over the past two years. 

  • following students on their way to class
  • throwing acorns at pedestrians from your lofty branches
  • stealing money from the Office of the Provost
  • espionage
  • pestering Quad-users during lunchtime 
  • dying on the sidewalk
  • alarming the general public by performing cheap stunts, such as dashing in front of bikes and cars or jumping out of trees 

Our expectations are reasonable, if not generous. Abiding close to university buildings is acceptable, so long as you frolic rather than loiter. Eating out of the Quad trashcans is fine, so long as you don’t drag it around everywhere and leave it as a hazard on the sidewalk. 

There is one point deserving particular attention. While you might think it’s cute that some students try to feed you things, we insist that you avoid their attempts. It will only encourage them. On this point, we will not be flexible.

It is out of legal obligation, not sentimental concern, that we issue this notice. You will be given no further warning, as you deserve none. If we continue to see problems by the first day after the third week, we will disown you immediately and replace you with crickets.

Furthermore, we request the return of the money stolen from the provost, as well as damages for all emotional or physical injury you’ve inflicted on our students in the past two years.

You may contact us by mail, sending the above to, sincerely,

The University of Illinois 



Class of 2020
I’m a senior here at the university, majoring in English and Math and minoring in Spanish. I’ve lived in Illinois all my life, sharing a room with my sister and many crickets. As the youngest in my family, I’m lucky enough to have my older siblings’ advice and perspective as I make my way through college!

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