been thinking, supposing Robert Crumb was a wildlife
artist. Scary. How would he see the back garden? For instance: those grey
squirrels which have suddenly started hanging around.
They're not cutely mischevious (far lef) but nor are they demonic
(left). Following Crumb's idea, that 'drawing is an excuse for
crosshatching', I attempt to build up a more solid-looking character (right).
Big Bushy Tail
the kind of behaviour that gets me thinking of the characters you might
meet in a Crumb comic: the squirrel under the bird table notices its rival
is busy at the opposite corner of the lawn burying, or un-burying, nuts
or seeds plundered from next door's bird table.
Squirrels don't look all that threatening, even to another squirrel,
I guess, so how do you go about looking mean and streetwise, if you're
a squirrel? Of course! - Fluff up your tail so you look big and butch!
think that after millions of years of evolving threat and counter-threat,
this strategy would be wearing a bit thin by now.
The other squirrel continues with its burying/un-burying/nibbling squirrely
kind of business but it too fluffs up it's tail and the fight that you
might be expecting doesn't materialise.
It still works then; the old fluffed-up tail trick.
Richard Bell, email@example.com