When did chipmunks become socially acceptable? Don’t get me wrong, I love me a little ‘munk, but aren’t they really just mice in better outfits? I ask because a small army of them have been gathering up their provisions for the winter – like Floridians preparing for a hurricane. They are attractive, sweet, and look like they’d be good conversationalists. Not ugly and dirty like those pesky mice.
But mice are cute too. And when I see them on TV or in a pet store I am mesmerized by their constant movement. If I see one in person, however, in some unplanned moment, I scream. Irrational I know. They’re small and usually running in the opposite direction. For some reason, though, I treat them like a rattle snake. Like they were sitting at breakfast figuring out how they were going to freak out the human today. Chipmunks, however, don’t scare me in the same way. When one runs my way, I feel like I’m a groupie, saying hello and smiling like Derek Jeter just walked by and pinched my butt.
Overall, I’m rather ambivalent about the rodent community. Yesterday, I saw a mole running along the side of the carriage house and surprised myself by standing there and watching it. It helped I had a dog at my feet – to protect me from the dangerously blind, and, if The Wind in the Willows is to be believed, incredibly boring mole running away from me.
For now, everyone on the farm – from rodent to deer – can rest easy. No one will die…for now. But if I must tell the truth, groundhog, your days may be numbered. And Mr. Mole, if you keep up with the escape tunnels like a POW in Dusseldorf, something is going to have to be done. And it may not be pretty. But chipmunks, your position is safe. Recently, some friends were telling me how they killed all the chipmunks on their property. I was shocked. And still am. But then again, one man’s chipmunk may be another man’s mouse.