Homeless in Vancouver: Papier-mâché critters can’t replace missing raccoons and skunks

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      On Sunday (August 28) in a back alley just northeast of West 12th Avenue and Yukon Street, I encountered some critters that were not squirrels.

      They weren’t dogs or cats either (well, one of them was sort of a dog) but most importantly, none of them were squirrels.

      Actually the trio of seagull, alligator, and puppy, which I saw nestled in a bunch of ivy atop a masonry wall, were fashioned variously from cans, boxes, egg crates, paper, Styrofoam, glue, feathers, and paint.

      Some sort of papier mâché can-ine.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Being largely made of papier-mâché, as they were, these creatures weren’t even animals per se but all the same, I have to say, they made a nice change of pace from you-know-what.

      A slightly foul-looking shore bird.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Squirrels act like they have nothing to hide but I don’t buy it

      This year has seen anything but a shortage of squirrels in Vancouver: red, brown black or grey—take your pick.

      While I can never actually get too much of their graceful goofiness, or deft daftness if you prefer, I would like to know what the squirrels have done with all the raccoons and skunks.

      Both of these normally ubiquitous urban critters have been virtual no-shows this year, at least as far as I’ve seen in my travels through the Fairview, Kitsilano, and Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Hundreds and hundreds of squirrels, all scampering and scurrying through the streets and alleys, hurrying about their Sciuridean business and nary one raccoon or skunk to be seen. It’s all very suspicious, if you ask me.

      And I’ll tell you this for nothing—the squirrels know more about the disappearance of their two main competitors than they’re letting on. They’re looking smug, if not downright cocky about something, strutting around for all the world as if they have nothing to hide. Pfft!

      I’m tempted to bring the police in on the matter.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.