October 18, 2008

News story that reads like a bad law school exam.

From UPI:
A Massachusetts man has been charged with catching and killing a squirrel and then roasting it with a blowtorch in his backyard.

Odum Chaloeurn's neighbors in Lowell reported him to the police, the Boston Herald said. He was charged with animal cruelty Wednesday.

Chaloeurn reportedly argued to police that he was not cruel to the squirrel since it was dead before he began cooking it. He allegedly pursued the squirrel on foot, grabbed it by its tail and then knocked it against a tree to kill it.

Squirrels are actually legal game in Massachusetts to licensed hunters. But Lowell is in a district where the squirrel season opens Saturday.

IN THE COMMENTS: Duscany said:
I wonder what the charge would be if he had sauteed the squirrel in butter and garlic, then slowly simmered it the rest of the afternoon in mushrooms and Chianti and served it at dusk with polenta while Vivaldi played on the digital radio and his girlfriend slipped into something comfortable?
Duscany's fine understanding of Critical Legal Studies earns him an A.


chickelit said...

When I was kid my dad used to take us squirrel hunting in the hills west of Madison. We shot them with .22 rifles. He showed us how to skin them and my mom cooked them. I recall they tasted rather nasty.

I thought the "blow torch" bit was a bit over the top... downright "Hostel" in fact. Didn't he realize that people are watching? You can't even pick your nose these days outside the privacy of your own home.

Synova said...

I'm still trying to deal with the idea of a "squirrel season".

Maybe because no one around where I grew up *ate* the squirrels they shot.

Next thing, someone is going to get arrested for animal cruelty for poisoning a rat.

Meade said...

The last laugh was on the Massachusetts man: that squirrel had earlier escaped Joy Behar's crotch.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

This is diversity of the non-NPR type. Enjoy!

Chris said...

Well, he just sounds like a bit of a goof. Is that against the law? As for the squirrel, it's not really my thing. If it was a matter of survival I would, but then I'd probably hunt something with a little more meat on its bones. They eat dogs in China. Should we bring lawsuits against every restaurant in the People's Republic? Or should we just accept that some people have different ideas about cute and cuddly than ours?

rhhardin said...

Chasing small animals is supposed to be good training for football fumble recovery.

The Drill SGT said...

Huntng out of season sure

animal cruelty no way. Bashing its furry little skull in was a lot less painful than most ways. Since his intent was to eat it, and BTW they are just rats with good PR, I dont have a problem

rhhardin said...

Furthermore the squirrel expects to be eaten. That's why he's running away.

But he does see it as fair.

Zachary Sire said...

I kissed a squirrel.

Fred4Pres said...

The memmories of mom and squirrels, good times, good times...

George M. Spencer said...

He chased a squirrel.

He caught it by its tail.

He hit its head against a tree.

Good luck with that story.

former law student said...

Once again the liberal media turns its cannons on a little guy trying to make good. So what if he's hunting without a license? Let "Odum the Hunter" alone!

Had Obambi not chickened out of the ten town hall meetings McCain wanted, we would be hearing more of how the Democrats with their insatiable license demands hindered Odum's very survival.

Fred4Pres said...

I would be a little worried about eating a squirrel that I could catch by hand. That is a sick squirrel.

The crime is not animal cruelty (at least not yet). Killing an animal and eating is still allowed until the Vegan Taliban takeover. It is hunting without a licence and out of season. The prosecutor should have charged that. The guy would have had no defense for it.

Zachary Sire said...

Sorry about this one, it's off topic. But after that squirrel video, one thing leads to another on YouTube.

chickelit said...

BTW, I've never seen the film "Hostel", and never plan to. Torture is not not my scene.

Another cool thing we did as kids was to collect buckets of live crawfish from a local swimming hole. We took them home a boiled them up in a big pot of water. Best served with fine Wisconsin butter, melted and strained through cheese cloth.

We called it "poorman's lobster".

Palladian said...

This squirrel, moments after this photograph was taken, jumped on me. I think it was after my Leica.

Kill 'em, I say!

Methadras said...

Chris Wren said...

Should we bring lawsuits against every restaurant in the People's Republic? Or should we just accept that some people have different ideas about cute and cuddly than ours?

When I used to go to China, I would drive by the shops that hung dog carcasses outside and in the windows. I would get so angry that I would literally see red from rage. How could an entire culture eat man's best friend? An animal that is so ingrained in the lives of humanity that there is no greater symbiotic relationship that humans can equate to that they see as a food source? Then I realized that a culture that is 5000 or so years old still hasn't been able to move beyond this most basic of understanding and why they were so easily duped by the lure of something like Communism/Socialism. It's the sheep eating the wolves.

Even in the early pilgrimage/colonial years of this great country the relationship of man and their dogs was business like, yet still special. Early Americans understood the inherent and intrinsic value of their four-legged friends. Not just for their abilities to hunt game, route herds, but for their capacity of unflinching loyalty and fealty their their masters. Even if you beat a dog daily, he will still seek to lick the hand that beats him. Dogs are the unfettered compassion and humility that humans find so hard to encapsulate in themselves and in that inability have seeded it and bred it from wolves to dogs.

So would we want to bring lawsuits against restaurants in the CCCP? I personally wouldn't because for me that is to lenient. I personally would want to evaporate them for it.

Bissage said...

(1) Speaking of law school exams, I’ve been giving serious thought, lately, to giving up the law to become a professional scriptwriter. A sample of my completely original work follows.

(2) We join our story mid-way through. Squicky Squirrel is writing a license for Bertrand Gropp to hunt a fricasseeing badger

Squicky Squirrel: This license permits bearer to shoot a frica . . . frica . . . Hey, badger, how do you spell "Fricasseeing?"

Bratty Badger: F-R-I-C-A-S-S-E-E-I-N-G . . . eh . . . S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L.

Squicky Squirrel gives the hunting license to Bertrand Gropp

Squicky Squirrel: Here you are, Leatherstocking. All nice and legal.

Bertrand Gropp pauses to read the hunting license

Squicky Squirrel: [impatiently] Hurry up, hurry up! The fine print doesn't mean a thing!

Bertrand Gropp looks confused

Squicky Squirrel: Hurry up, Hurry up!

Bertrand Gropp grabs Squicky Squirrel by the tail, swings him against a nearby tree trunk and dashes out his brains

Mr. Squirrel: [to Bratty Badger] You are one nasty, little, pin-dick, bug-fucker, man!

(3) Think it might sell? There's more where that came from. Tell your friends. I’ll pay 10% of anything!

Zachary Sire said...

I think squirrels are filthy lunatics, but instead of hunting them with big fat guns, you should set traps for them with nets and ropes, and then haul them all back to a giant gas chamber and kill them en masse. Because hunting is already immoral, you might as well murder them in the craziest way possible, if that's your game.

chickelit said...

Chris Wren wrote
If it was a matter of survival I would, but then I'd probably hunt something with a little more meat on its bones.

You're right. Rabbit is far tastier, and of course venison steak beats all. In fact, Thanksgiving was usually not celebrated on Thursday because it always coincided with the first day of deer season.

I realize now that squirrel hunting does sound a bit desperate. But both my parents grew up dirt poor in large families in rural Wisconsin, and think maybe they were just teaching us lessons from their youth, just as I do with my son.

Wince said...

Two words for the blue exam book: voodoo hex. The case reminds me of that courtroom scene from The Devil's Advocate:

LOMAX: That's a veal roast, Your Honor. USDA approved and stamped. Men kill animals and eat their flesh. Phillipe Moyez killed a goat. He killed a goat.

And he did it at home...in a manner consistent with his religious beliefs.

Now, Mr. Merto may find that bizarre.

It's certainly not a religious practice performed by everyone.

It's not as common as, say... circumcision.

It's not as common as the belief that... wine transforms into blood.

Some people handle poisonous snakes
to prove their faith. Some people walk on fire.

Phillipe Moyez killed a goat.

And he did it...while observing his constitutionally protected... religious beliefs.

Your Honor, this case is not about keeping goats... or transporting goats or goat licensing.

The city was less concerned with the care of the animals...than the manner in which they were slaughtered.

MERTO: Objection!

JUDGE: Enough, enough. I got it.

Let's wrap it up.

LOMAX: Your Honor... the city timed this police action to catch my client... exercising his constitutionally protected right to religious freedom.

This is a law protecting kosher butchering. I'd like to move at this time for a verdict of dismissal.

JUDGE: I happen to know a little bit about kashrut law, Mr. Lomax.

LOMAX: I'm aware of that, Your Honor. That's why I feel confident in requesting a dismissal.

JUDGE: Mr. Merto?

MERTO: Arrrrgggg... [Choking because of a voodoo hex Moyez put on him.]

For God's sake, man...

MILTON (SATAN): Congratulations. Great job.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christy said...

He's an idiot for doing that where the neighbors could smell the burning fur. Take him out of the gene pool, I say.

What? You say he skinned it first? What else was left out of the story that the MSM didn't want us to know?

Chip Ahoy said...

What else was left out of the story that the MSM didn't want us to know?

They don't want you to know the squirrel was on the man's property for nefarious purposes. The squirrel was after the man's nuts. Chewing up his property. Stealing things. Robbing him! Yes, the man killed the squirrel out of season but he was just protecting his property.

Although, this story has a definite Jeffery Dahmer sense to it that is unsettling. And funny. Unsettling and funny.

former law student said...

The squirrel was after the man's nuts.

The thread has taken a distinct titusesque turn with this reference to nibbling on a man's nuts.

Simon said...

The law is clearly an unconstitutional abridgement of the "liberty" protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, for at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of when a small animal is grilled to perfection.

Fred4Pres said...

I have eaten some strange things overseas. Guiena pigs baked in clay (when you crack the hard clay off it take the skin and hair off leaving a fat little skinless rodent behind). I have eaten bats, snakes, and other strange things. I did not seek it out or ask for it, but I am almost positive a Chinese restaurant in NYC served me cat once.

But I don't eat monkeys, dogs, or dolphins (the mammal not the fish, which I quite enjoy to eat). I won't eat sea turtles or manatees either. I would not eat a panda. I tend to avoid eating carnivores. I do not eat people either, except for the little cuticules around my own finger nails when I am nervous.

Unknown said...

Just now--literally 10 minutes ago--we had a squirrel in our house. We think it actually came in the door with us when we got back from running errands. The dog went nuts, the squirrel leapt from curtain rod to curtain rod, smashed itself into a window, tried to run up the chimney, jumped across the tops of all the furniture, sat and chattered at us from the computer moniter, and left a trail of extremely foul-smelling excrement in its wake. We finally managed to corral the dog in the bathroom and herd the squirrel toward the front door. We were laughing hysterically the whole time and repeated that classic line from Christmas Vacation: "I'm gonna catch in the coat and whack it with a hammer." After the excitement was over my son said, "See, mom, I told you the squirrels were planning an invasaion." And I said, "I'll have to tell Ann Althouse. She hates squirrels." There are no coincidences.

Trooper York said...

Rocky the Flying Squirrel was the first to break through the barrier of hatred and discrimination that long left his people despised rodents. He broke all the barriers that had held his people down. He was the first to sit at the lunch counter at Schwab’s. He went and sat in front of the bus every day on Sunset Boulevard as he ostentiously rode to work. He palled around with Frank and Dean and the rest of the Rat Pack in Las Vegas. He was often on Jack Parr and the Ed Sullivan show. But it all went south when he met Pebbles Flintstone. They met on the lot at Hanna Barbera and began to date. They kept it quiet at first. Meeting furtively at the park where Pebbles would throw nuts at him from a park bench. Hiding out and necking at Mr. Slate’s gravel pit when everyone was off the set. But rumors started to circulate and the Hollywood Reporter finally got a photo of them together. The scandal destroyed both their careers. They were in the front seat of her father Fred’s automobile and Pebbles had her head in Rocky’s lap. Yes she was eating out a squirrel.

(Jay Ward and Alex Anderson, Rocky and Bullwinkle, E True Hollywood Story)

former law student said...


You do realize Sarah Palin shot Bullwinkle? "Frostbite Falls in Shock; Rocket J. Squirrel Collapses in Grief"

The story was in the NY Times:


Nichevo said...

"Yes she was eating out a squirrel."

Huh? Rocky was a she?

Ann Althouse said...

Ha ha, madeleine, that's terrible! I'm going to be very careful walking in my door from now on.

AlphaLiberal said...

He didn't kill it with a blowtorch, right? So what's the problem. It's life in the food chain, which squirrels know well.

My dog, who often chases, but never catches, squirrels is envious.

Anonymous said...

Ah...Dude was just sharpening his life skills in preparation for the upcoming Great Reformation of American Wealth Sharing program.

Joel Rosenberg said...

Well, the law doesn't have to make sense, after all, and if it says that it's "cruelty" to cook meat with a blowtorch rather than a gas stove, it's making an ass of itself, again.

That said, hunting out of season being a no-no isn't exactly news to anybody. And "don't freak out the neighbors" has become part of standard hunter etiquette, anyway; given how precarious hunting laws can be, it doesn't make a lot of sense to push things.

Simon said...

I punched a squirrel in the face once. On the railing to our deck, we have several pots and containers growing herbs and small vegetables (peppers and so forth); one day, I'm pulling up in the car and a squirrel is straddling a pot digging up my brocolli! I jump out of the car and run towards it being noisy, with the supposition that it will run off. It didn't. In the detatched portion of my brain watching this in slo-mo, the realization dawns that, "hmm, we're getting quite close, now, and the little blighter hasn't shifted. I suppose we'll have to have a plan B if it's still there in, oh, three seconds or so." Alas, by the time I got there, plan B hadn't materialized and the squirrel was still there, by now looking at me quizically. So I didn't have a plan, but I had momentum (I was still a man in motion!), and made a split-second decision to capitalize on that by letting a fist keep going in the direction of the squirrel, whereupon I punched it in the face. It dropped like a rock and scurried off.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the charge would be if he had sauteed the squirrel in butter and garlic, then slowly simmered it the rest of the afternoon in mushrooms and Chianti and served it at dusk with polenta while Vivaldi played on the digital radio and his girlfriend slipped into something comfortable?

Cedarford said...

Just part of our wonderful diversity and what Open Borders "gifts us" with. We have a contingent of SE Asians, in particular, that are contemptuous of our fishing and game laws. The Hmong and Vietnamese are infamous as poachers.

This squirrel guy is a Cambodian. In our state a family of Cambodians was caught netting songbirds - three times.
We also had a Vietnamese clan of several families of "noble refugees" that were caught after they showed up at one too many dog pounds wanting to "adopt" and lying through their teeth on what their real intent was. And ASPCA sent to investigate didn't find any of the "adopted" dogs and puppies, but did find two out-of-season deer carcasses being carved up and duck feathers everywhere.

However, dudos to the speed and agility of the Cambodian if he was actually able to chase down and grab a squirrel by the tail. Which of course he wasn'y. The shitbag likely downed the tree rat with a slingshot or crossbow - illegal in Massachussets - and lied his ass off when asked because he knew his weapon use was illegal and not to adnit to it.

I know a little about chasing squirrels down. We have a big spruce a little too near the house that my wife likes too much to take down. It has flying squirrels in it. Despite books showing our area has none - we do. And twice the pretty little guys have come down the chimney. They are impossible to chase and bag with a blanket, let alone grab by the tail.
(And yes, they do fly. One made a flight from the living room curtains all the way into the kitchen, banking around two corners in mid flight. Impressive!!)

Pity the Hmong and Vietnamese and Cambodians don't eat the nuisance animals. Maybe an education program to them on the delicious nature of jellyfish, rats, raccoons, cockroaches, and skunks is called for.

Puppies bad! Cockroach? A Number One, you betcha! Make your needle dicks bigger to eat nothing but rats and cockroaches - most excellent food! Trust us, yellow brother freedom-lovers!

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I remember reading a profile of a Chinese professor who had been imprisoned in the aftermath of Tianamen Square. After several years he had been granted asylum in the United States, He lived in New York City for some time while waiting for his family to join him.

When asked about his thoughts on life in the US, he mentioned being surprised at how many squirrels he saw during his walks in Central Park. He said that he realized how rich America was when he noticed that none of the people in the park were trying to eat the squirrels!

Methadras said...

Jeff with one 'f' said...

When asked about his thoughts on life in the US, he mentioned being surprised at how many squirrels he saw during his walks in Central Park. He said that he realized how rich America was when he noticed that none of the people in the park were trying to eat the squirrels!

I've been to many villages and some larger towns in China that literally have had their wildlife from birds, to insects, to 4 legged creatures disappear because they've eaten them all. There isn't a thing the Chinese won't eat. If there is, I never heard of it and I've asked.

Your Correspondent said...

Professor Althouse: Do you really give exams about bad law schools?

Or about bad laws?