Vituttaa kuin pikku oravaa kun käpy on jäässä.
Traditional Finnish proverb
This delightfully descriptive little metaphor
is how Finns
express the torments of Tantalus
, when something is so close,
yet so far away
, or alternatively, just being annoyed
and unable to do anything about it.
The Finnish vituttaa
(lit. "cunted") is
quite a bit more obscene than the English version, so various
versions are also common.
The metaphor is taken straight from Finnish nature.
Squirrels are quite a common sight in Finland, even in the cities.
As they do not hibernate, they can often be seen in the winter
hopping about on the snow in search of food, a major component
of which is the seeds within pine cones. I have to admit that I
have never personally seen a pissed-off squirrel gnawing
at a cone that has frozen solid, but the mental image is funny.
The mere phrase "little squirrel" (pikkuorava) also invokes
memories of a supremely annoying kids' show and cassette tape
series involving the exploits of Alvin and the Chipmunks, best known for singing
Christmas carols after inhaling several balloons of helium
(or at least that's the way it sounded). Having the overly cute
little buggers starve to death with frozen pine cones in their paws would only
be poetic justice.