Saturday, July 19, 2014

Slip -Slidin' Away

  So I was out on the deck the other day picking berries from the black-rasperry bushes that are taking over the deck, yard and porch. There were squirrels wondering what I was doing to their snack-bush, robins that were startled to find me rustling around in their lunch, chipmunks that were curious about my presence and various other birds and bugs that didn't care what I was doing. But it's the chipmunks that provided the most entertainment.

As I picked a particularly juicy berry from the bush I heard a commotion - soft, startled, yet muffled squeaks echoed across the deck along with the screech of claws scrabbling on metal . The chipmunk had apparently tripped and catapulted head-first down the downspout. He put up quite a fight - for quite some time I heard the slow, descending squeal of claws as he fell, little legs outstretched, vainly trying to stop his downward spiral to the no doubt dirt-and-bug-infested bottom of the downspout. But to no avail - there was no fighting gravity!

So after that racket, I heard the pitter-patter of teensy paws along the 10 foot length of pipe that travels under the deck. Unfortunately, the end that lets out into the grass is partially squashed. I looked it over and thought there might be just enough space for a panic-stricken rodent to squeeze through. I know that rodents are particularly squishy when it comes to getting in and out of tight spots. I bent down and tried to pry it open a bit.I heard some more startled squeaks and the pitter-patter of little feet back up the pipe toward the house. Then shortly thereafter, a bit more squeaking of nails on metal as he tried again to climb back up the pipe.

I decided to leave him be for a bit. He wasn't going to come out while I was there messing with the bottom of the pipe. Maybe if I left it be, he'd venture out, squashing himself flat and slithering out.

I don't know if he ever did get himself out. There are no more squeaks coming from the pipe, but there's also no rotting rodent smells either so I think he made it out OK. That's what I'll tell myself anyway.


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