Why do squirrels have lines on their back?

Stories from the Ramayana

All of you must have watched little squirrels jump, and leap and run on tree tops and branches.

Such fun and quick animals they are. Aren’t they?

Their agility always leaves me in awe. Have you ever wondered how the furry squirrels got the lines on their back? Animals usually develop certain features over time as they try to adapt and evolve and survive across centuries. Here is a little story from the Ramayana explaining how this happened. Hope you enjoy reading them.


When Sita had been abducted and kept in Sri Lanka, Rama marched along with his army of monkeys, squirrels, and hanuman to get her back. To bridge the gap and reach Sri Lanka, all the monkeys along with the squirrels decide to build a bridge. While doing so, the squirrels were happily jumping placing layers of pebbles together. They were very dedicated and loved doing their part of the job for Lord Ram.

The army of monkeys however found the squirrels popping here and there, to be very funny.

They mocked at them that the little squirrels might get squished by the boulders they were working with. Lord Ram, who had been silently watching the scene came up to the army of monkeys.

He said, that if not for the pebbles placed by the squirrels, the boulders wouldn’t hold together tight enough to construct the bridge.

Even though the pebbles were small, they lie behind the strength of the huge boulders and the task of holding them together. Hence, it doesn’t matter how trivial the part of the job is, every little effort and work done with honest dedication needs to be always respected and recognized.

This helped the army get back to the right perspective, and they all worked together as a happy team thereon. As a sign of appreciation and a token of kindness and thanks; Lord Ram, gently stroked the back of a squirrel with his fingers. This is believed to have been the origin of the lines on the backs of squirrels. The lines have thus been carried forward through generations and years later, until today.

The next time you catch a squirrel nibbling, sure be reminded of the love, hard work, and dedication, that they actually stand for.