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Snakes and Ladders Presents...

A cute and/or terrifying story about a squirrel

If you've reached this page, you're playing Vault's digital theatre game Snakes and Ladders, and have chosen to rest and enjoy a little animal story. Please read on, or scroll to watch a video version of the story.


This is the story about the first time I visited the Bronx, and was instantly brutally mugged.

On my last trip to New York I decided to visit all 5 boroughs. Resting on a bench after walking across High Bridge (the bridge that connects Manhattan and the Bronx), a shadow fell onto me. I looked up, and three black teenage boys loomed over me, laughing. One pointed to my handbag resting next to me. I forced a smile. "Can I help you gentleman?" Somehow my voice was pure Joyce Grenfell.

They laughed, and pointed again. I glanced at my handbag, and saw...

A photo of a red handbag lying on a wooden bench on grass. The zip is open and the massive bushy tail of a squirrel is sticking out, the body of the squirrel inside the bag.
A squirrel inside a red handbag, sitting on a park bench.
A photo of a squirrel sitting next to a red handbag, on a wooden park bench.

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.

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