The Squirrel

The Misunderstood Squirrel of Menlo

By Maya Mogensen–

Hi. My name is Reginald von Hausling III, but you can call me Reggie. You may have heard of many different reasons as to why Menlo has different colored squirrels running amuck around campus. However, only one story reigns true! If you have not heard the original story about these misunderstood creatures, then sit back, pull out a snuggie and a warm beverage, and let me weave a tale of intrigue.

Once upon a time, there was an experiment at Stanford University. A pair of undergraduate researchers were attempting to change the pigmentation of squirrels from the mundane gray into Cardinal red. Needless to say, some alleles were mixed up and instead of the two broken MC1R recessive traits that were needed, the researchers sequenced the MC1R-Δ24 EB allele. Classic mix-up. The researchers discovered that the squirrel had black fur instead of the bright red that they had hoped for. They decided to capitalize on how rare and beautiful the squirrel was by selling tickets to see it.

The color morphed squirrel escaped and ran throughout the night until it came across a perfect habitat. There were beautiful oak trees and, more importantly, delicious acorns. However, there was one problem…it was another college campus. Exhausted from a perilous journey, the black squirrel decided to stay and rest for the night. The next day, the squirrel woke from its deep slumber and realized that it had not eaten since the Hot Pocket its creators gave it that dreadful night before. It looked up and saw a large looking object that read “TRASH” on the outside. Suddenly, a group of students walked by, dropping food into the trash can. The creature climbed in and had a feast fit for kings. It decided that this campus would be its new home.

The black squirrel fashioned a top hat, a monocle, and a cane in order to look more distinguished than the gray squirrels. After a week or so, the students realized there was a squirrel running around campus in the latest fashion trends. This led to questions such as, “Where did it come from” and “Do squirrels really need glasses,” thus beginning the relationship of confusion and intrigue between the students of Menlo and the black squirrels. How do I know this? Because my great, great, great grandfather was the squirrel that escaped…

Feel free to email me any questions or topics that you would like to be addressed for the next article.

Me in my great, great, great grandfather’s garb.

Black squirrel in top hat and monacle

“Sir James Almost Walnut Esquire III” by haavoc from

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