Patriots, when the first human looked up from the primordial ooze, bumping his head on a low-hanging tree branch, he found himself face-to-face with humankind's greatest nemesis, a slavering chitterbox.
Thereafter, the human race cowered in caves as fearful of the day as it was the night, a situation that lasted eons (click skwerl for comment).
As civilization advanced, the struggle to break the icy grip of squirrel world domination suffered defeat after defeat. Then our most revered, but unkown, Great Patriot levelled the playing field. How? By inventing the wheel. Caught unawares, nutzy after nutzy was flattened on the road... but the wheel had its limits.
The drooling nutzys were only momentarily deterred. Their unrelenting assault on civilization contunued. Humans could only pray that the maniacal skwerlballs would turn upon themselves as they approached their goal of world domination in an endgame power struggle.
Things went from bad to worse. Traitors amongst us turned to the skwerlside and the cult of Orthodox Skwerlhuggery arose. The cult preached human salvation under the despotic chitterbox rule. Pathetic skwerlhuggers engaged in the most outrages acts of betrayal to promote squirrel world domination.
Ironically, skwerlhuggery is also responsible for initiating the first conflict within nutzy ranks. As one story goes, American Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), brought a North American grey squirrel to England while on a diplomatic assignment to Europe between 1776 and 1785 (click Ben for comment).
Another version of the story states that Franklin and/or his wife, Deborah, sent a grey squirrel to friends in London. It became the pet of Georgiana Shipley who named it Mungo (or Skugg in some accounts). When a brave dog dispatched the slavering skwerlien, Franklin penned a eulogy to the skwerl (see below).
However Franklin's skwerl got to England, the act initiated a wide-spread interest in England that culminated in the import of North American
grey gray squirrels to various English estates and parks in the late 1800's. It also set off a civil war between the native red skwerls (Nutzy Rouge) and the foreign greys that's still playing out today.
Dr. Franklin's electrifying introduction of grey squirrels to England also begs the question: was he a pathetic skwerlhugger or a Great Patriot?
Researching further, we found an assertion from Frank Murphy, an author of children's books, that Franklin also owned a pet chitterbox named Skugg. However, we could'nt verify this allegation either. In fact, "skugg" was a common term for skwerl at the time, and it seems unlikely that Franklin would give any pet such a generic name. Nonetheless, Franklin did pen an epitath for a young friend's dead nutzy named Mungo (or Skugg, or whatever)...
I lament with you most sincerely the unfortunate end of poor Mungo.
Few squirrels were better accomplished, for he had a good education,
travelled far, and seen much of the world. As he had the honour of
being, for his virtues, your favourite, he should not go, like common
Skuggs, without an elegy or an epitaph. Let us give him one in the
monumental style and measure, which, being neither prose, nor verse, is
perhaps the properest for grief; since to use common language would look
as if we were not affected, and to make rhymes would seem trifling in
Alas! poor Mungo!
Happy wert thou, hadst thou known
Thy own felicity.
Remote from the fierce bald eagle,
Tyrant of thy native woods,
Thou hadst naught to fear from his piercing talons,
Nor from the murdering gun,
Of the thoughtless sportsman.
Safe in thy wired castle,
Grimalkin never could annoy thee.
Daily wert thou fed with the choicest viands,
By the fair hand of an indulgent mistress;
Thou wouldst have more freedom.
Too soon, alas! didst thou obtain it;
Thou art fallen by the fangs of wanton, cruel
Ye who blindly seek more liberty,
Whether subjects, sons, squirrels, or daughters,
That apparent restraint may be real protection,
Yielding peace and plenty
You see, my dear miss, how much more decent and proper this broken
style is than if we were to say by way of epitaph-
As a bug
In a rug.
And yet, perhaps, there are people in the world of so little feeling
as to think that this would be a good enough epitaph for poor Mungo.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), letter, Sept. 26, 1772.
Some will say that Franklin's lavish attention to the departed Mungo is proof that he was a wanton skwerlvert. However, it may be that there was a method in his madness. Subsequent to the Mungo incident, English nobles and city administrators imported greys to populate their estates and parks. This unbelievable act of betrayal peaked during Victorian times but continued into the 1960's.
Then one day, some pathetic skwerlhugger noticed that the foreign grey skwerls were crowding out the native red chitterbox. Worse, the greys weren't just content with controlling cities and estates, they were gamboling amok into the English countryside driving the reds before them. In fact, the red-hued chitterboxes we call the Nutzy Rouge were on the road to extinction thanks to the Grey Menace...
Nutzy Rouge (R) vs. Grey Menace (L); Photos by Patriot Nikki and Patriot Reeve; click pics for comment
As the skwerlien conflict spread into Scotland and Ireland, pathetic skwerlhuggers found themselves at odds with one of the fundamental principals of Orthodox Skwerlhuggery: Protect all skwerlballs from harm because they are nice. But here was a whole race of nutzys who were definitely not being nice to their cousins. Should the traitorous human adherents of squirrel world domination simply let the struggle play itself out? Should they try to mediate an end to the conflict? Or should they intercede on one side or the other? This is an unfolding drama that has yet to resolve.
So, what of Ben Franklin? Pathetic skwerlhugger or Great Patriot. We want to believe that Franklin's interest in skwerls was purely scientific, that he viewed maniacal chitterboxes as the enemy of humankind, and that he knew Mungo would start an internal power struggle within the bushytail horde. Thus, Dr. Franklin was, indeed, a Great Patriot.
COMMENT BY PATRIOT AITCH
It is with great interest that I read your enlightening (no pun intended) article about dear old Ben. If one considers Ben's indisputable contribution to the improvement in quality of life to the general populace, his rejection of the principles of autocratic rule, your inability to find hard evidence that he had a squirrel as some form of 18th century familiar, one must conclude that old Ben was a outstanding patriot and totally averse to the doctrines of the bushy-tailed horde.
Just analyse the first line of his very clever poem: "Alas! Poor Mungo!". What is Ben really telling us? For those of you who have fallen into the trap of thinking that this is an ode written by a Skwerlhugger, let me brush the scales from your eyes. Let us consider "Mungo". What does Mungo mean? The followers of the Kabalarian Philosophy believe that a name has far more meaning than a collection of sounds or letters representing a memorable label that we apply to identify ourselves. Their interpretation:
"Although the name Mungo creates idealism and the urge to help others, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success.."
This forms an amazingly accurate description of the deceptive squirrel. In addition, some believe the name to derive from Gaelic that translates as "my wolf". Another insightful and possibly euphemistic description of members of the sciurine menace. Others believe that the name derives from the Irish "mon~ac" meaning "hairy". You can see where I am going with this can't you?
Ben, in reality, is indulging in an early but incredibly well developed form of satire. He is pointing the "finger of ridicule" at all who would slavishly follow the path to skwerlhuggery. Consider his observations in verse three :
"..restraint may be real protection,
Yielding peace and plenty
This is certainly an overt warning that we are in clear and present danger, and the only sensible recourse is to "restrain" the menace by wiping them out thereby providing peace.
Incidentally, the erroneous view that Mungo means "amiable" or "lovable" is a fine example of sciurine propaganda at its best and most subversive.
Ben Franklin, te salutamus!
BEN FRANKLIN WIKI PAGE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BEN FRANKLIN
MORE SKWERLS IN HISTORY