As you may have noticed, there seems to be a rise in the population of chipmunks this year. I see them on the roads, on our back deck, scurrying around our yard, running across our front steps, making holes in my gardens.... Now, to many, this means aggravation and stress, but to me, this means more smiles and chuckles as I watch them race around looking for seeds and other things to eat. I do not like when they dart out in front of my car. I do not like when I think there is a leaf in the road and it turns out to be a little chipmunk. I always scare poor JJ when I gasp really loud, making him think something really bad is going to happen. Like the time a big, fat woodchuck went hobbling across the road in front of my car. I began yelling, "No! No! No! Nooooo!" because I knew I could not just slam on my brakes for fear of having someone else hit us, but yet, I did not want to end the life of the woodchuck trying to hurry across the busy intersection. He made it that day, but JJ continues to bring up my reaction so he can laugh at how crazy I acted. I do not care, though. As long as it helped the little critter get safely to the other side. :)
I have always had a soft side for chipmunks. I have always had a soft side for all animals, but that is beside the point. When I was about eleven years old, I decided I wanted to to try and catch one. I found a box, tied some string around a stick, and set it out in the clearing where I often saw chipmunks. After placing some seeds underneath the trap, I sat back and waited. A couple of times a chipmunk came along and went under, but the box was too slow coming down and he always got away. I realized I needed something heavier. I went off in search of something different to use, and found our glass aquarium. I needed a bigger stick to hold it up, but soon had my new trap set up and waiting.
It was evening now. Dinner had been eaten and after I had helped clean up, I had gone back outside. I had used up an entire Saturday trying to capture my chipmunk, but I was still determined to keep trying. Finally, I saw one approaching my trap. He went under the box to check out the seeds and I gave the line a tug. Down went the aquarium! I had caught him! I had done it! My excitement instantly went to feeling bad though. Because the box was glass, I could see inside it and the chipmunk could see everything around him. I watched as he leaped inside the cage, franctically trying to find a way to escape his prison. His head kept hitting the top of the glass, and his little heart beat so fast I thought he might have a heart attack! I quickly ran to get my dad to show him that I had actually accomplished my task. I showed a few other people around the neighborhood and then I could not take the little critter's anguish anymore. I had to let him go. I lifted the box very carefully and gave the chipmunk an escape route. In a flash, he had darted out of the box and took off into the woods like a speeding bullet. I wondered if I would ever see him again. It was days before I saw another chipmunk at our feeder, though I do not know if it was my friend or another part of his family.
Fast forward ten years ahead. I was working at my aunt's store of used children clothing. It was a warm summer afternoon and I was eating my lunch outside on the bench by the door. Suddenly, a little chipmunk came running to me, jumped on the bench next to me, and waited. I held out a little piece of bread. He took it and nibbled at it. Next thing I know, he was on my leg, wanting more! I could not believe it! He was the friendliest little thing I had ever wanted to meet! He shared my lunch with me that day, as well as many other days. I found out he was a store favorite. If the door was open, he would come inside the store and my aunt and cousin would feed him seeds they had inside the counter. Who knew chipmunks could become so tame?
God in His infinite wisdom created so many different kinds of animals. Such a vast variety shows His creativitiy and imagination. It always amazes me how different each one is, and how amazingly beautiful they are, down to the very intricate part of how their bodies work. Each one is unique and is an awesome show of wonder that clearly only a Master Creator could have put together. Isn't God good?