Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 30th, 2007
I’ve spent some time here discussing melanistic or black squirrels.
It seems only logical, perhaps even nuts, to not ignore the significant publishing of an article in today’s New York Times regarding some squirrel lore that can be seen to unfold in the coming weeks. What is being set up is a testable experiment.
If a scholar of Norse mythology had been in the stands of Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, he or she probably would have advised Yankees fans to not make too much out of the 5-3 victory against the Red Sox.
The result, after all, still left the Yankees trailing Boston by an imposing seven games in the American League East. But more significant, perhaps, was the pesky and distracting squirrel that scampered up and down the right-field foul pole during the game and that, according to Norse mythology, just might have foretold that the Yankees will not prevail over the Red Sox this season.
Believe it or not, the squirrel’s actions closely resembled those of Ratatosk, or “gnawing tooth,” a squirrel in Norse mythology that climbed up and down a tree that represented the world. Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic scholar and poet, recorded the story in his 13th-century work “Prose Edda.”
As the story goes, Ratatosk carried insults as it traveled to opposite ends of the tree, fueling a rivalry between the evil dragon residing at the bottom of the tree and the eagle perched at the top.
“Oh, that’s perfect,” said Roberta Frank, a professor of Old Norse and Old English at Yale University, when told of the squirrel’s antics at the stadium.
Frank was born in the Bronx and is a Yankees fan. She said in a telephone interview yesterday that in the Bronx version of this myth, the Yankees would probably represent the eagle and the rival Red Sox would represent the dragon. The Yankees, after all, are the home team this week, more or less making them the good guys. And if there were a sports team identified with an eagle, it has to be the Yankees, who have begun any number of postseason games with a visit from Challenger, the bald eagle who swoops in from center field.
But being the eagle is not such a good thing, Frank noted.
“The dragon will destroy the world in Norse mythology,” she said, adding that the eagle would be on the losing end of a battle that was only made worse by the malicious squirrel.for the complete article, see “For Yankees, Squirrel’s Visit May Be Omen (a Bad One),”, by Teddy Kider, New York Times, August 30, 2007.
Being a member of Red Sox Nation, my loyalities are not in doubt. I’m on the side of the squirrel.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.