SQUIRRELS IN A CITY. [To THE EDITOR OF THE "Svacrieroa.1
SIR,—The following from the Chicago Post may interest some of your readers. As it has happened several times that compassionate women have written me to advise about freeing captive squirrels, I may say that I am now in a con- dition to offer protection in liberty, woodland, and food for as many as may be sent me, with shelter for the winter.— I am, Sir, &c., Deepdene, Frindey Green, Surrey. W. J. STILLMAN.
" ' One of the most curious features of city life that I ever ran across is at Madison, Wis.,' remarked a travelling man. I know of no other place where squirrels run at large in the heart of a city, but they do at Madison, and Madisonians are proud of them and take great precautions to see that they are not harmed. Madison, you know, is the capital of the State, and is a city of considerable size. In the centre of the business district are situated the Capitol building and grounds, occupying four blocks. The grounds formerly were surrounded by an iron picket fence, and the squirrels for the most part remained inside the fence. I believe there was a sen- tence of death imposed on any dog that harmed a squirrel, and in one or two instances the penalty was inflicted. At any rate, Madisonians with dogs were very careful about going into the Capitol grounds with them, and in the course of time most Madison dogs learned to let the squirrels alone. A few years ago the fence was taken down, but still the squirrels increase and prosper. In fact, they are tamer now than ever before, and on my last trip to Madison I had the pleasure of sitting on a bench in the Capitol grounds and feeding a squirrel that sat on the bench beside me and ate from my hand. Nor do they remain in the grounds now as they used to do. They make pilgrimages to all parts of the city, and one is likely to run across them any- where. Of course, they don't hang around the streets where the travel is heaviest, but it is not unusual to see one scurry across in front of an electric car, "scoot" down a side street and take to a convenient tree. I believe it has happened two or three times that a brute in human form has killed one, but it is risky business. If caught the Madisonians surely would make an example of him. Why, they've even got the boys with slung- shots trained so that they won't shoot at a squirrel, and you know a boy with a slungshot ordinarily will shoot at anything that moves and can't retaliate. I don't know how they have brought about this state of affairs, but they surely have done it. It astonishes the stranger in Madison not a little to sit on the steps of a hotel and see the squirrels playing tag with people passing on the other side of the street.'"