Tuesday, July 7

Cheeky Chippy





As I am headed up the driveway towards the back door, pushing a baby stroller, I hear a noise. It is coming from the bird feeders and I think, "oh, a bird was feeding and took off when he heard me coming along." I felt a little bad that I scared him away from his meal but then I noticed that it was not a bird at all. It was one of the million chipmunks that have invaded my yard, and my bird food supply.


I have noticed that the chipmunk population has exploded and the last two summers, I have had a huge influx of the little brown guys. They used to be cute and it was fun to see them around the yard, occasionally. But now they have taken over. They are eating the roots of plants in the shade garden, making holes in the rose garden and all over the yard, and they get the majority of the birdfood before the bird even have a chance.


The thing that finally made me realize that they were no longer a cute occasional little "happening" was that my three cats lost interest. I would say "Look Prince, a chippy!" And set him on the window ledge so he could sit in pounce-mode, tail swishing back and forth, until the chippy ran. He would then go flying through the house from window to window trying to follow the chippy across the yard. Well, that was then. Now, when I say "Look Prince, a chippy!", he looks at me with the "yeah, ok, another chippy. Big deal" look on his face.


So this little chippy had gotten himself inside the feeder and had his little chippy butt pressed up gainst one side of the glass and was frantically digging through the bird food "filler" to get to the sunflower seeds. I walked right up to the feeder and tapped on the glass. He stopped and looked at me and I swore he said "Yes? Can I help you?". He was not scared, he did not try to run - I could have petted him if he was not inside the feeder.
This is my fault, of course. I insist on feeding the birds. I think chippys are cute and I don;t do anything to stop them from breeding like crazy and living in my garden (I don;t have the heart to kill them and trapping them would take years).
An enabler in most definitions is a person who through his or her actions allows someone else to achieve something. Just call me the chipmunk enabler.

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