Why Kill My Squirrel?

We listened to The Country Wife at the weekend. The line…

Be sure you love me whatsoever my husband says to the contrary, and let him not see this, lest he should come home, and pinch me, or kill my Squirrel.

..had us wondering just what “kill my Squirrel” referred to as there had been no Squirrel references until then.

2 Replies to “Why Kill My Squirrel?”

  1. I solicited the opinion of a Doctor of English literature whose specialty is Restoration literature (with a particular focus on Alexander Pope) and she informed me that the ‘squirrel’ was indeed a reference to an actual pet and not an expression that has fallen out of use. In the country, squirrels were often kept as pets, so this reference is meant to reinforce that Mrs. Pinchwife is a country naif unfamiliar with the ways of the city. If would have perhaps been akin to a Southern person moving to the city and talking about their pet possum.

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