CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "You'll be wasting a pretzel on that one," I said, nodding toward the panhandling squirrel that had raced up to our group and was about to assume the full cute position.
"Squirrels will eat most anything," said the woman.
"Not that one," I said. "I've been watching it. It's here just about every day."
"Like you can tell one squirrel from the next," said another woman who was walking with us.
"All I'm saying is there's one that hangs out every day at quitting time between Building 5 and the parking garage," I said. "If you give him anything but a peanut, he's rude."
The woman bent and handed the squirrel a pretzel. He took it gently enough, then almost immediately spiked it hard to the ground, and ran off toward some other state employees on their way to their cars.
"Beggers can't be choosers," she yelled after the squirrel, then muttered something about greedy tree rats.
"I wonder if they just get so much stuff given to them they think they can pick and choose what they like," I said.
"And slam down what they don't," she said. "Jeez. It acted like my pretzel was offensive."
"That reminds me," said the only man in our group. "Has anyone seen the hawk lately?"