Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Tale of Cheeky B.

He's adorable, clever, cheeky, ambitious, and entertaining. Or... He's annoying, opportunistic, greedy, bold, brazen. It really depends on who you are in the garden hierarchy as to how you see the chipmunk who has taken up residence in the garden wall.

I first noticed him when peering out my bedroom window, which provides a perfect view of the top of the wall. There he lay in all of his stripped grandness...flat out...taking advantage of the heat of the stones to warm him all over. Not worried about a blessed thing, that one. I was mesmerized. How cute! So still; just an occasional eye-blink. I thought, "How often do you get the chance to observe something that's that fast and timid up close?" Turns out, lots of times because this little critter ain't afraid of nothing! Adorable.

At first, he was a great addition to my garden wildlife. He seemed happy to industriously vacuum the ground under the bird feeders. That's a good thing because I'm sick of weeding where the seed sprouts into who knows what. I started thinking of him as my wee gardening assistant. Enjoyable.

But, the birds don't find him all that charming. I see them bunched on the branches of the nearby bushes, little heads cocked in watch as he spends way too much time down there for their liking. They can't eat with him darting back and forth, back and forth. He's like that annoying guy at the party, you know the one, who races up to the table and loads his plate with the really choice hors d' oeuvres while the rest of us considerate, polite guests only take a few.... No regard that there are others who might want a few morsels. Ass.

Even the blue jays are frustrated. Jays by nature are bold and aggressive. They're the mafia of the bird world and have been known to kill other birds at a feeder, 'just because.' The sheer size of them makes them intimidating. Up close you really see the theory that birds are descended from dinosaurs. Jays remind me of those crafty velociraptors in Jurassic Park. They're also smart birds; if you don't give them a challenge, they can quickly eat you out of house and peanuts. So, I got this contraption that looks like a slinky, ends attached together. It holds whole peanuts. It makes the jays work for their reward. They sit on the ring and pull at the peanut for a bit before working it free. Good for them and way easier on my bird-feeding budget.

The other day, I filled the ring. Shortly after, I hear jays outside raising a ruckus. That only happens when the ring is devoid of nuts. Going to see what's up, I see this flustered jay hopping back and forth, all but screaming, "Holy crap! Do something!" Because, sitting on the ring like a fat guy at an all-you-can-eat buffet, is the munk pulling at the nuts. Grabs one, shoots away. Comes back immediately, grabs another. The jay sits there in total defeat. What power does that chipmunk have to keep a jay at bay? Bold.

The cheeky bastard emptied the ring. Emptied it! Later, when talking with Michael, we figure that he'd helped himself to hundreds of peanuts over two days because he had filled the ring the day before. Pig.

It's hardest on Rory & Fiona; they know he's there and are compelled to hunt him. Terriers + Rodents = Gasoline + Match. Terriers were designed by humans to be ratters. They rush after any small thing. It seemed like a clever idea to allow the pups to lay on the back of the sofa and watch the chipmunk dashing around in the garden. I thought it was a way to occupy their dog t.v. That didn't last long.

Recently, I heard Rory, who is the most docile Scottie ever, sounding as though he's possessed. I race to see what's up and there's Boydog plastered to the door, eyes rolling, looking out at- you guessed it, the chipmunk sitting up just on the other side of the glass. Are you kidding me? Sitting up watching my terrier go wild? Rambo-Munk.

Michael has taken to releasing the hounds. He figures if the munk is going to taunt them, Fiona & Rory should at least have their shot. It's like watching a garden version of Wyle E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. Michael opens the door...the chipmunk, upon hearing the door open, has ample time to make his rapid escape... Scotties jet out making unearthly shrieking noises that would make any warring Highlander proud...Braveheart In The Garden...they dash to the last known spot of their nemises....alas...he is gone. Meem, Meemp! Dammit.

From deep inside the garden wall, I believe I hear little chuckles. I can't be certain.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Beth said...

I loved this grandpa used to call chipmunks rats with racing stripes. They are amazingly industrious little creatures. Maybe I'll put out a bird feeder and see if he'll come over and visit!

Eileen said...

I can't help it ... blame it on Disney but I just love the munks ... in spite of the fact that they have burrowed under my brick patio and have caused a sink hole! Sounds like you guys could cancel cable and just hang out with the dogs at the window for hours of excitement.

melissa said...

*Cracking Up!!!*

Anonymous said...

What a great story, I love your blog and you made my Friday (yes, I'm behind again, very busy here the last two days). I have a smile on my face and it's because of you. Thank you! Keep us posted on the show...your own little soap opera.

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