When I was a little girl, our kitchen was long and narrow. The shape of it created an odd "corner cupboard" on one end. It opened up to a fairly large space behind the door, and was prone to being a bit of a catch all, where things got lost. One day when my mother was cleaning it out, I slipped in. It was a marvelous spot, and I immediately claimed it as my own. I was a chipmunk, and it was my cozy den.
My mother was a patient thing, and let me call that cabinet my own for a long time. Once in a while she would hand me a bright M&M candy and tell me it was an acorn. This thrilled me beyond all reason. I would clutch the wee candy in my fingertips and nibble it with my front teeth. I thought acorns tasted fine, indeed.
I became entranced with chipmunks at an early age. I was fascinated by all animals, and these little striped creatures, with their cheery voices and big eyes were plentiful in our yard. They would dash in and out of the stone walls, race through the gardens, and best of all, vanish into the little hole my father made at the bottom of a set of brick stairs near the basement to vent air from the clothes dryer. I would often see a chipmunk scamper down those mossy treads, with its cheek pouches full to bursting, then, with a flick of the tail, poof! down the vent hole. How I loved to think of a whole family of rodents down there, with a larder full of food and warm air from the dryer keeping them toasty through the long New England winter.
To this day I find them rather magical. When we first moved to this house I rarely ever saw one, but now there are a few making themselves known. One, in particular, is quite fearless.
She finds the birdie buffet I put out each day to be a treat.
Getting down from the feeder proves a challenge...
I rather doubt this one has a den with a built in heater, but it makes me happy to think her pantry will be full. Maybe tomorrow I'll put out a few M&M's.