Coco has a longstanding problem with squirrels. She thinks they are treacherous creatures, hell-bent on doing her harm, or at least driving her crazy.

While I’ve tended to be dismissive of Coco’s claims, a recent news item made me wonder whether there might actually be a malignant animus in these fluffy-tailed rates that induces violence, trouble, and temporary insanity.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s office says in a report that deputies found a man covered with blood when they arrived at Helen Williams’ North Charleston home early Wednesday. She told investigators the man fell and cut himself, but couldn’t explain why her hands and clothes were also bloody.

Deputies say the man said Williams was so angry when he returned without beer because stores were closed on Christmas Eve that she grabbed a ceramic squirrel, beat him in the head, then stabbed him in the shoulder and chest.

I’m not going to tell Coco about this, for I know she would say “I TOLD YOU SO.”