Students eating lunch at Sharples on November 26th were greeted by an unfamiliar friendly smile, beaming from a small squirrel who had positioned himself comfortably behind the radiator near the back entrance to the building. Peeping his head out from his alcove, the little rodent watched in cool composure as fawning fans lined up to greet, ogle, and take pictures of him.
“The squirrel is stunting,” said Jovany Thomas ’23. “He really is out here in his fresh fur coat, strutting along like he owns the place. Because he does own the place.” Thomas was impressed by the squirrel’s body language as he lounged behind the radiator, how he showed off his perfectly groomed tail and acted perfectly calm and collected despite the tumult and attention he drew.
“He was saying ‘Yes, I know I’m the shit, but you don’t have to make a big deal out of it,’” Thomas recounted.
Other Sharples diners were also excited to have been graced by the special visitor.
“We don’t get celebrity sightings like this in Sharples often,” said Samantha Schneider ’21. “The last time I saw someone this famous in Sharples was when Dakota Gibbs ’19 dropped in for Tostada bar last month. No one really cared though, I think a few people nodded but that was it. So this is a pretty big deal.”
As the tumult grew, a Sharples employee broke up the crowd and escorted the squirrel to the great outdoors.
“Don’t touch the squirrel, we need him for Squirrel Bar tonight” he said, lunging for the squirrel. “It’s all locally sourced and organic, so it’s better quality.”
Reeling at the thought of eating squirrel for dinner, the onlookers’ previous excitement turned to uproar. But even this disgust was short-lived, soon turning into confusion.
“Oh no, we don’t cook the squirrel,” the employee reassured. “He cooks the dinner.”
Leaping to the man’s shoulder, the once-indignant and insubordinate squirrel became instantly obedient upon recognizing his boss. From his eye-level perch the squirrel surveyed the crowd slowly as his human companion clarified the situation to those assembled.
“Mr. Nibbles is a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and he’s been a great addition to the team,” said the worker. “He’s the best of the best, but he’s a bit of a maverick. He knows he’s talented, he knows he’s hot stuff, but sometimes he lets it go to his head. He wants the recognition, he wants the fame.”
Like Remy, the titular rodent of “Ratatouille,” Nibbles directs operations at Squirrel Bar. Dinner includes foie gras (paired with a vintage cabernet), caviar, truffles, and chocolate mousse. Mr. Nibbles typically sits atop various staff workers’ shoulders, dictating instructions and overseeing most culinary activities. In his brief tenure at Sharples, he has spearheaded the introduction of several new highly acclaimed Sharples dishes, including Huli Huli chicken bar, blue potatoes, and butternut squash sun-dried tomato gnocchi. Despite these successes, this public faux pas, unfortunately, cut his career short.
“It hurts to say, but we’re gonna have to let him go,” said the Sharples worker. “He signed a non-disclosure agreement; he had to keep his identity a secret. This isn’t even the first time this has happened — but it will have to be the last.”
As he deposited the squirrel on the path outside of Sharples, Nibbles looked longingly at the kitchen one last time, knowing he would never be able to return. The squirrel who flew too close to the sun returned to nature once more.