• Peter Thomas Ryan

Last Thursday’s cover story by Reader restaurant critic Mike Sula examined a protein source that’s rarely cited as a delicacy: the urban eastern gray squirrel. Since we often dedicate each week’s installment of our Variations on a Theme series to the prior week’s feature, it didn’t take us long to make the leap to Squirrels Week. And judging from the speed at which the comments thread is progressing, the topic of squirrels—if not the practice of turning them into stew—is picking up momentum.

To keep the conversation going, this week’s edition of Variations on a Theme is devoted to everyone’s favorite bushy-tailed, acorn-nibbling, public park terrorists. Every morning we’ll be posting varying takes on an animal that some consider to be a tiny, furry friend—and others liken to “chicken thigh, lean and not at all tough.”

In case you missed it, here’s a link to Botany Week, last week’s Variations on a Theme (and do read “The grow house next door,” the article by Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky that inspired it).