Squirrel on the Loose?

Sameeha Khan, Staff Writer

Under construction, both Oakton High School and Cougar Towne have become a breeding grounds for the unusual. From mice and birds to leaky pipes, our hallways are littered with vermin, the low lighting shielding them from the eyes of students, administrators, and even janitors. While students often find abnormalities within our ceiling-less building, the recent sighting of a squirrel in the science hallway has surprised us all.

The viral Snapchat video hit the Oakton community with shock. At first, the video zooms in on a student climbing down the Door 3 staircase. Out of the corner of the video, a furry tail is spotted jumping from the banister to the ledge- about ten feet above the ground. It runs on top of the ledge until it pauses as the wall comes to an end. A split-second decision- the squirrel leaps off of the ledge spending a few seconds mid-air – hitting the ground with a thump. We hear its claws scratch against the tiled floor as it sprints into the room parallel to the staircase.

Naturally, after watching the video, Oakton students pulled out a list of questions. Where did the squirrel come from? Was it rabid? Was it hurt? The source of the video, Brandon Nguyen has only a few answers to these questions.

20 minutes before the first bell rang [Brandon] walked by Door 3 and towards the staircase. Out of the corner of his eye, an animal scurries past the banister. “Though at first I thought it was a rat, after seeing its bushy tail, I quickly realized the only animal it could’ve been was a squirrel. I brought my friends with me and started recording,” Brandon said.

Keeping a steady hand on his phone, Brandon and his friends laugh and scream in surprise. “At first, my friends and I waited around to see what would happen,” he recalled. Ms.Cho, an honors chemistry teacher happened to be passing by and Brandon told her what had happened. “I remember she had said, ‘Oh crap!’ and closed the door of the classroom the squirrel ran into”, Brandon remarked. Soon after, Ms.Cho brought an administrator to handle the situation.

By Cougar Time, almost every student at Oakton had seen the video Brandon had taken. “I didn’t expect the video to go viral at all! It was first posted on my private story and I guess a lot of my friends had screen recorded it,” Brandon said. The news passed around the school quickly as classes usually held in the science hall were moved to different locations for safety reasons.

With construction continuing for a few more years, Oakton students may receive a few more surprises. Maybe, we can even expect a few more viral animal videos.