Have a Heart, part V: Houdini

I check the trap this morning–it is tripped, and the peanuts are eaten, but there is no one inside! Apparently this last chipmunk is living up to its species’ name as being excellent escape artists. I get more bait and reset the trap. I am thinking that, instead of Alvin, I may have to name my next catch Houdini.

I go out later in the morning. The trap is undisturbed, but as I am looking at it, I hear a little chirping noise, just barely audible. I look in the direction from where the noise is coming, and I see a little face and two shiny black eyes peeking out at me from the slate rock wall. Aha! I have discovered the opening to the den. This must be their summer home, and the walls of my garage are the winter home. Or maybe the parents have kicked the adolescents out and they’ve taken up residence in the earthworks behind the wall (it is a retaining wall, about four feet high). Little fur-face and I have a staring contest for a while, and then I put a couple of peanuts on the rock closest to the den opening. He (she) disappears into the dark recesses of the wall. I am reminded of the story The Little Prince and the taming of the fox. Maybe the chipmunks and I are taming each other.

To be continued…

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