“If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, choose a sense of humor.” — Jennifer Jones
Mice, voles, chipmunks, hamsters, gerbils, groundhogs… Rodents! Those skittering, scratching, sneaking, gnawing critters give me the creeps. Tom, my husband, on the other hand, is bothered by only one type of rodent – the chipmunk.
The chipmunk became Tom’s nemesis last summer when one of them began to wreak havoc in our backyard. It was then Tom took life back to its basic form – hunt and kill. After a long day at work, Tom arrived home and immediately went to his next job as The Chipmunk Hunter. He gathered his hunting tools, a stick and a shovel, and proceeded to investigate what new damage the little critter had caused. Tom stalked, poked, prodded, and pounded. I alerted the neighbors that he was not unhinged, but he was pursuing his passion to rid the yard of the Chip and Dale species. When Tom was convinced he had taken out the rodent, he entered the house with a smile on his face and declared himself the victor. The morning after when the chipmunk boldly strutted across our patio, Tom gave him the evil eye and banged on the window. The chipmunk chattered back. (Was he swearing or laughing?) Not to be outdone, Tom rushed out the door, shovel and stick in hand, shouting, “This isn’t over yet!”
During the summer and fall, this scene repeated itself too many times for the likes of me. Now the winter snow covers the chipmunk’s hiding places. Tom’s hunting tools hang in the garage. Peace reigns, but I know Tom is secretly preparing for the time when The Chipmunk Hunter will take action again. Who will be the victor? Any bets on the chipmunk?
Jimmy the Groundhog recommends Ten Grouchy Groundhogs by Wisconsin authors, Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook (Cartwheel Books, 2009)
See Esme Raji Codell’s Blog, January 27, 2010, for other great Groundhog Day books.