Friday, November 11, 2011

RIP Chippy

You may remember our beloved backyard chipmunk, Chippy. If you don't remember him, you should go read here and maybe even here before you read the rest of what I'm going to say. Just so you understand why it was so sad for us to lose him.

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!
Little Chippy
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. How sad for your kids (and you)! And how cute that you will be getting a dog soon.

  2. That is breakin my heart! Must get doggy soon!

    I was in Boston when my distraught 8 year old called me to tell me his pet hamster had died. We get attached to them!

  3. Poor Chippy! I totally get it though. Logan caught a mouse in our house a few months back and I didn't want to just put it outside or it would come back. It was midnight and my spouse was asleep so I couldn't get him to dispose of it. We finally released him in a field away from the house because what the heck else was I gonna do? The poor kids were both attached and terrified at the same time. Sigh. I get it. The sad thing for us is that we have 3 cats and NONE of them took care of the problem! Pfft!

  4. "sniff", "sniff"... such a sad story! I am such a softy when it comes to animals so my heart is just aching right now. He is such a cutie pie! I hope you get a dog or another pet very soon! They do bring so much joy to a family!

  5. Poor Chippy! He had a good life, though, and now he'll never be forgotten.

    The dog thing cracked me up, though. I'm picturing a tiny version of a black lab, the size of a chipmunk....