An open letter to the squirrel that ran off with my daughter’s cinnamon roll

This week’s blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor Foster (his “Brown Mom” wife), and their daughter Viva, whose 283 calorie breakfast snack just skittered up a tree.

Dear Squirrel,

I know it’s morning. I know you’re hungry. We’re all hungry. I know that winter was long, and we’re all a little loopy in the springtime sun. And I know that everyone in Chicago—every kind of mammal, evidently—enjoys the occasional indulgence of an Ann Sather cinnamon roll. Today, that mammal was supposed to be my daughter, but you had other plans.

I suppose it was dumb to leave the cinnamon roll on the tricycle seat. This is the city, after all. But this is a friendly park, and the roll was in a bag, and also … SQUIRRELS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO EAT BAKED GOODS!!! Those are empty calories, pal, and you need sustenance to climb trees and, I dunno, squirrel around.

Nuts. That’s what you’re supposed to eat. Nuts. Not glazed Scandinavian dessert items. Nuts to you.

To quote the famous groundskeeper Carl Spackler, “… you must know your enemy, and my enemy is a varmint.” A varmint who not only pulled a takeout bag off of my kid’s tricycle, but also chewed through said bag, pulled out the warm, gooey goodness of a cinnamon bun and carried the whole damned thing up a tree. Now my daughter is crying, and all the other kids in this park are pointing and freaking out, and there is probably going to be a whole generation of Chicagoans now who won’t be able to eat frosting-laden breakfast cakes without looking over their shoulder. This will be worse than when my generation was scared to watch “Doctor Who” for fear of “Max Headroom” taking over the airwaves with flyswatters.

Clearly, you’ve never met my daughter, or you wouldn’t have done this. She’s three years old, bullheaded and has a sweet tooth that won’t quit. And now she’s angry. You won’t like her when she’s frosting-deprived and angry. She requested that cinnamon roll at 6:30 this morning, and she wasn’t going to stop until she got it. She probably won’t stop until you’re roasting over a tiny spit with an acorn in your mouth. I’m surprised she hasn’t scaled the tree yet to pop off your little buck-toothed head like it’s an Anna Paquin Pez dispenser.

You’ve got to come down someday, Squirrel-bro, and when you do, Viva will be waiting.

My backpack wasn’t zipped. There were pretzels in there … and wheat thins … and trail mix. Lots of items, almost all of which are more squirrel-appropriate than a fresh, sticky, cinnamon roll full of sugars and fats. Now that I think about it—there were actual nuts in the bag. Way to use your nose, bud.

So, sit up in your tree, and dig on the sugary goodness of the purloined brunch treat of a preschooler. You could have stolen anything—there’s a restaurant around the corner, and the customers leave with leftovers they barely keep an eye on. You could have been eating a nice smoked salmon with Hollandaise. Instead, you’ve pretty much literally stolen candy from a baby. And while it was likely easy, it wasn’t without its consequences. She’s mad, I’m mad and we’ve got all day to wait for you.

Oh, and don’t come back down looking for my coffee, varmint. You can’t have it.


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