|A chipmunk calls.|
As I was weeding a small patch of dirt this afternoon (small as measured by the size of two cookie sheets of garden) I had the most remarkable experience. A chipmunk seemingly sprang from nowhere and ran directly between my feet. We seemed equally surprised. The chipmunk paused, turned to take me in, giant that I am, then ran for cover behind a statuary of two grey squirrels frolicking. The moment was made slightly more remarkable by the subtle, omnipresent figure of our cat, lurking on the porch, taking in the entire spectacle. Perhaps he recognized an opportunity, for he stealthily moved forward to better view the chipmunk in its woefully inadequate hiding place. I served the role of intrusive human with my “Shoo, shoo, go away, Tiger!” to my cat. Tiger retreated ever so slightly by settling back on his haunches. On the porch railing just behind Tiger was something that should have served as a distressing warning to the chipmunk to take cover. The desiccated bones of a small bird were stretched out in anatomically correct position. Feathers and sinew were long gone. After observing Tiger and the remains of a recent skirmish, I returned my attention to the chipmunk tucked in close to me, closer to the cement squirrels. It was gone. I searched in ever larger, concentric circles, convinced his hidey-hole must be near-by. I found it in a retaining rock wall that was built into the hillside. The chipmunk would have had to cross about fifty feet of open, unprotected lawn to make his escape. Apparently, he had done so. I returned to the garden to pick up my tools. Tiger still sat on the porch. He remained absolutely motionless, waiting.