PAW’s call for stories about the University proctors (From the Archives, January issue) reminded me about how cooperative proctors were when it came to my writing a story about Princeton’s squirrels for The Daily Princetonian, March 11, 1957.

Either they fooled me with an elaborately constructed fable, or they told me the truth about their coming to the rescue of a distraught undergraduate. Either way they deserve praise and recognition.

As the story was told, a student some years earlier had befriended a squirrel with a regular supply of sweetmeats and milk from his room at the top floor of Witherspoon. 

One day he was preparing to take his date to the Metropolitan Opera, having purchased two $10 tickets, only to discover the tickets were missing.

After a call to chief proctor Mike Kopliner, the tickets were seen in the mouth of his pet squirrel, peering through the window. 

I quote from my story: “But the squirrel on the fire escape was in his element; a short scamper and he was up a tree.

“One staff member, James S. Clark, recalls how a worker tried to retrieve the tickets by sticking his hand down the squirrel’s nest, only to hastily withdraw it with several neat incisions and uttering howls of agony.

“When, after a determined effort the tickets were finally recovered, the student was an hour late, and, worst of all, his date never believed his story, although she ‘appreciated its originality.’”

Randal Marlin ’59
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada