Mar 23 2009

Another Voice Heard From:
A Chipmunk Speaks Her Mind

 
OK, so it goes like this… Tamia is so busy catching up on her work that she asked me for help. I’m Jacky Chipmunk, and as anyone who knows my tribe at all well realizes, if you want something done, ask a busy chipmunk to do it. We don’t let the grass grow under out feet. But before anything, I suppose I should show my face:

 

I'm Jacky and will be your chipmunk today

 
I hope you don’t mind if I pick up a few sunflower seeds while we talk. Waste not, want not—that’s my motto, or one of them, anyway. Those birds, they’ll get in the way of my tidying up, and they’re messy, into the bargain. Where were they raised, in a barn? And look at this, a rabbit passed this way, and I mean passed! Musket balls all over the place.

 
I can talk while packing seeds into my handy cheek pouches, don’t you worry. That red squirrel who was here the other day—Ratatosk was his name—he just didn’t have a clue. Squirrels. They’re alright, if a bit squirrelly, if you get my meaning. They don’t have cheek pouches. They have to make many trips to store as many nuts or seeds. Not like chipmunks, who are far more intelligent, by far. I don’t mind telling you that. We chips have been around for 35 milion years without any real change. What does that tell you? We haven’t needed to change, that’s what. We’re perfect. I might be biased, but I doubt it. Excuse me a mo’, I’ve got to take a bath. Ahhh, now, I’m more presentable. I’ve even cleaned between my toes.

 

Little Pink Toes

 
My front paws have four fingers and a short thumb pad, and they’re very dextrous. I really don’t know why you monkeys need opposable thumbs. I do very well, thanks. I open seeds, and grab them, and defend myself, and climb trees (yes, you heard right)…

 

We Like Trees

 
We might dig into the ground to make our homes, but we climb trees, too. Surprised? Don’t be. We’re chipmunks. Anyone who takes the trouble to get to know us realizes we’re quite capable in any number of ways.

 
Need a for instance? We lived through the Ice Age. Imagine that. Snow holds no horrors for us at all, whether it’s a few inches deep of a mile or two deep, who cares? We just dig and thrive. And when the going gets really tough, we’re not about to struggle for nothing. No way. We just take a nice long nap. And when we wake up a bit peckish, we head down the hall to the pantry and have something to eat. Why do you think we are so thrifty, because we’re obsessive? Don’t you believe it. We’re thrifty because You Never Know. You might have to ride out a few thousand years between fill-ups to your pantry. Of course, what goes in has to come out, and we have a latrine set aside for that, too. But I’ll not be so indelicate to go into that.

 

 

Fat-cheeked Chip

 
Our thick winter fur and the ability to carry home lots of shopping distinguishes us as superior creatures. I don’t want to belabor that point too loudly or Ratatosk will get a complex.

 
We chipmunks have beautiful stripes which help keep us camouflaged in a world of predators looking for an easy meal. Predators, hrumph. Lazy so-and-sos, they loaf around much of the time then go looking for a free lunch at our expense, then gorge, then loaf around. They don’t know the meaning of the words industry, thrift, virtue, and prudence. Where would they be without the rest of us? Extinct, that’s what. But I don’t want to think about that, it’s a distasteful subject. Luckily I’m also fast. It’s the chipmunk way. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to head back to add another load to my pantry. Tamia’s just going to have to get off her backside and carry the load for awhile. Bye.

 

Gargoyle Chip

 
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