The chipmunks have got to go

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2003

Finally, I have some pecans on the ground. At least, I hope I do.

The high winds that accompanied the rains Monday morning blew most of the pecans off of the trees in my yard, but I haven't had the chance to pick them all up yet.

I know I'll get them picked up this week - that is unless the mutant chipmunks don't get them first.

In fact, I'm pretty sure all the pecans will be gone before I get the chance to wander around my backyard. And the chipmunks will be the culprits for the disappearing nuts.

I used to think chipmunks were cute, fuzzy little critters. You know, like Alvin, Simon and Theodore; Chip and Dale; and those two British chipmunks off the Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Now, I know better.

Chipmunks are evil, little rodents with fuzzy tails.

A friend of mine warned me. She had a problem with squirrels. The evil cousin of the evil chipmunk.

And they're after my pecans. I don't eat that many pecans, but I do enjoy a good pecan cookie every now and then.

Never in my life have I ever seen as many chipmunks as I have since I moved out into the country. Shoot, I thought squirrels were just about the only animals in these parts that scampered around foraging for nuts. I knew there were chipmunks around - I just didn't know there were that many in one place.

Saturday afternoon, partaking in my usual college football slumber in my easy chair, I kept hearing something rubbing against my window screens. I thought it must be a tree limb or something.

And then it happened.

One of those blasted chipmunks came running across the screen of my sliding glass door, pausing long enough to look in and then take off running.

I think it even looked at me and grinnedŠ.

Now, from living at home with my parents, I knew that squirrels could get in your attic and walls. Setting out traps was the only way to get rid of them Š except for turning a cat loose Š and that's just too messy.

I checked around and didn't see any openings, so I knew they weren't in the house. I tried to scare them away, but they just sat there staring at me.

Besides, I figured the foxes would just get them anyway.

And then, coming in from work Monday night, the strangest site I've ever seen. A fox, lying in my driveway with a chipmunk sitting about 2-feet from it.

Is that normal? I don't think so. Aren't they mortal enemies?

And then it struck me. These were no ordinary chipmunks, they were mutant chipmunks - the foxes are scared of them and they want my pecans.

I've seen the commercial where the squirrels cause a wreck on the highway, and I'm thinking these chipmunks are plotting something. They're waiting for me to put something outside for Christmas or plant some vegetables this spring. Then they'll pounce and, well, it'll be just a big mess.

But that's OK, I've got a solution for that. Anybody want chipmunk stew?