On Wednesday night we drove maybe twenty miles to our friends’ home for a socially-distanced dinner on their porch.
Before we departed Barry paused to feed our dear tame chipmunk, a descendent of the infamous “Chippy” with whom we shared seeds and petting a few years back. We actually have two pet chipmunks this year, a shy sweetheart and a bold fella. (Not that I know their actual sex; I am only guessing.)
Barry fed and petted the bold guy while I waited impatiently with the keys.
“C’mon,” I begged, “he’s had enough. Let’s go.”
Barry opened the door, set the container of seeds on the kitchen table, and off we sped through a hot afternoon toward our date. We had not seen our friends since the night before stay-at-home quarantine, March 13th. We’ve gone out to restaurants almost every single month since our son married his sweetheart in San Diego in 2012. They attended the small wedding and we went out to dinner the night before we flew home. “Why don’t we do this more often?” we wondered, and set up a monthly date. Eight years later we’re still going out almost every month.
Back to the pertinent story. We enjoyed our renewed acquaintance with friends, we didn’t hug, we sipped pertinent beverages and munched upon delectable turkey breast, potato salad, cranberries, garden lettuce salad and strawberry-rhubarb crumble.
Little did we imagine what was happening back at home.
At promptly 8:45 we pulled up to our Little House in the Woods and trudged full-bellied toward the door. Unlocked, opened and stood aghast. We had been invaded!
Everywhere across the floor strew sunflower seeds in various states of disarray. Whole sunflower seeds, partially eaten seeds, devoured husks. The container lay sideways beneath the kitchen table.
“Oh NO!” I shouted, “The chipmunk must have followed you in the front door when we left!”
Dreading the finding and corralling of the wee beastie I scurried all over our little house upstairs and down begging, “Chippy! Chippy! Where are you?”
In the meantime Mr. Barry discovered an important clue.
“Ummm, Kathy,” he called, “I think you need to look at this.”
The brand new expensive screen covering the window over the dining room table had been chewed into a nice little hole, big enough for a wiley chipmunk to scurry in, eat seeds, and depart.
Have you ever felt angry at a home-invading chipmunk? If so, you know the emotions which passed through. Barry, strangely enough, started laughing. The more he laughed the angrier I became.
“That’s it!” I declared. “We are NOT FEEDING CHIPMUNKS ANY MORE!”
“But they are sweet little buggers,” said laughing husband. (Which is an odd reaction on both of our parts because ordinarily he would have been angry and I placating. We had seemingly switched roles.)
Nonetheless, the decision stands. Come Thursday morning we both agreed: no more feeding chipmunks. The sweet little buggers can find their own food.
NO MORE HOME INVASIONS!
P.S. Please excuse this flurry of blogging. It’s odd how a person might have nothing to post for months at a time…and suddenly the Universe insists upon repeated storytelling.