Back in August we went to a BBQ at a friend's house (oh, here's a picture of that day) on the lake. While we were there, they showed us how they got rid of the noisome chipmunks who ate all of their grapes and tomatoes and other garden offerings. If you must know, it was by setting up buckets of water with food balanced on them, where the hungry chipmunks would eventually meet their fates by drowning.
My girls were absolutely horrified. And I must admit that I was a little upset by it as well. Though I do understand the need for protecting one's produce, I just hate the thought of killing cute little animals, annoying as they can be. (Of course, I did have very different thoughts for a certain gray squirrel last year around this time...) Besides, our Chippy was the closest thing we had to a pet.
Well, the very next day after that fateful BBQ in which the innocence of my children was lost, we lost Chippy.
Joel had been cleaning out garbage cans, and one had rotten fruit or something in it, so he set it out on the deck filled with soapy water to work on it later. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what happened next, but Chippy was attracted to the rotten fruit and the rest is history.
I was taking my sacred Sunday nap, the girls were outside in the back playing, and Joel was making dinner. I sort of woke up when I heard the girls at the back door saying things like, "What is it?" and "I can't see it very well!" and finally, "It's Chippy!"
Then they ran into the house, distraught, and began yelling at their father for killing Chippy. They were sure he'd listened to our friend talk about offing grape-eating chipmunks and decided he would get rid of Chippy. I got up then, not knowing about the garbage can, and questioned him myself! Everyone was upset (to say the least), and it was a little chaotic for a minute there.
Poor Joel's pleas of innocence were finally heard, but there was nothing to be done about Chippy's fate. Joel dug a small grave for him, and we made him a little headstone out of a brick. As soon as he lowered our poor little chipmunk friend into the ground, all of the girls (including me), lost it. We were a mess of tears and Joel had no idea what to do with us. So you know what he did?
He promised us that we could get a dog. (Which, three months later, hasn't actually happened, but I'm totally on the lookout.) Because Chippy was almost like having a dog anyway. Whenever we ate outside, he sat under the table and begged for food. He would creep up to us when we sat out on the deck and sniff our toes. He'd even sneak into the house sometimes if we weren't careful. He wasn't a shy chipmunk, that's for sure! The last time I saw Chippy was only a few minutes before I went into the bedroom to take a nap that day. I glanced out of the kitchen window and saw him sitting on top of the grill. He wasn't doing any chipmunky sort of eating or keeping busy like they tend to do. He was just sitting there like he owned the world.
And when it came to our backyard? He did.
RIP Chippy. We miss you!