Friday, November 22, 2013

Like a Tiny Furry Pole Dancer

 I have a bird feeder that gets regular visits from many varieties of birds, squirrels, chipmunks and the occasional rabbit or groundhog. Usually the chipmunks, rabbits and groundhogs stay beneath the feeder, gathering up all the fallen bits, while the birds and squirrels take full advantage of the area and eat from both the feeder itself and the ground underneath. Occasionally we see an ambitious chipmunk scale the birdfeeder pole and balance at the very top, but they can't quite ever manage to get to the feeder itself without sliding down the pole like a tiny furry pole dancer.
Until this morning.

I must say, I was rather disheartened when I looked out the window and saw that a chipmunk had managed to reach the seeds in the feeder. Not because I don't like to share with the rodents. And not because I was worried about him falling off. It's because he was INSIDE the bird-feeder, doing a headstand, unmoving, on a 20 degree morning. I thought for sure he was an icemunk. I went outside, figuring I would be removing his cold dead corpse from the feeder. Sure enough, his eyes were closed. But then I noticed he was breathing! Hooray! He was still alive.

I took the feeder down and carefully tipped it, trying to slide him out. He eyed me suspiciously and held on tight. So I shook it gently, then not so gently, trying to knock his fuzzy little butt out of the feeder. But that wasn't working. He was way at the bottom with a perch behind him - he must have squeezed past it so shaking him down wasn't going to work. So I reached into one of the seed-holes and poked his tail with my fingers and told him to get out. So he did.

He turned around, paused at the bird-feeding cup, then dashed out right between me and Doodlebug. I know chipmunks are really really fast, but wow! I have never seen a critter move that fast before! He dashed away - hopefully back to his nest to snuggle up with his chipmunk buddies, to wash my foul stench off his tail and to complain bitterly about the traps we've laid for them on the deck.


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