The it turns out extremely friendly Bronx teenagers helped knock my handbag to the ground, albeit laughing at me, which is fair. But still the tiny thief refused to yield. He's smelled chocolate and would not give up his trophy. Alas the zipper gap was just big enough for his own body, not enough for a bag of Wal*Mart's finest Reeses' peanut butter cups.
Again and again we battled, until finally we managed together to open the zipper. Wallet keys and 15 lipbalms scattered, but all I could see was a fluffy tail bouncing up and down into the distance, bearing an orange bag larger than its owner.
Now, back in London, I feed the squirrels in the park next to my building, so tame they politely wait in circles around me and gentle take cashew nuts directly from my hand. One even knows how to walk on his hind legs.
Telling this story to a group of Americans recently, exclaiming at the difference between American and British squirrels, on Louisiana native remarked, "Yeah, we have some ratchet-ass squ'alls in America."
Ratchet Ass Squ'alls is my band name.