I am currently waging war. It isn’t pretty.
After a springtime mouse infestation of Biblical proportions up at the cabin, we made it through the rest of the summer critter-free. Then, a few weeks ago, my son and his friends spent a weekend there and between roasting marshmallows and chugging beer, they fed chipmunks junk food which I’m sure made hanging out by the fire circle much more entertaining than it might otherwise have been for young people used to college fun nine months out of the year.
Now, I like chipmunks as well as the next person, having spent summer afternoons of my childhood feeding wild critters, too. One chipmunk, “Shorty”, became so tame that it was possible to pick him up and feed him while he sat there munching peanuts left in our palms. As chipmunks go, he was a unique little dude.
A chipmunk in the yard is fun, but a chipmunk trapped in the cabin is not. And if you are a chipmunk, being discovered at 8 a.m. sitting on top of the clock radio in the living room can be pretty painful if you have the bad luck of sharing the place with two soft-hearted, soft-headed, chipmunk-feeding twenty-two year old almost-men. I won’t go into the gory details, but their plan to rid the cabin of the little striped squatter involved first, a high-speed chase into the utility room in the general vicinity of a set mousetrap, the chipmunk getting only partially caught in the trap, a split-second decision to “off” the mortally injured chipmunk by firing a BB gun at pointblank range in the general vicinity of its head, and finally, when this didn’t work, bludgeoning the chipmunk to death and ending its misery. I am not making this up. I couldn’t make stuff like this up. This actually happened. In MY cabin. If I doubted what I’ve read about college age men and their late pre-frontal cortex brain development before this sad misadventure, all of my doubts were erased as I sat listening to the two twenty-something men at my dining room table after the chipmunk’s untimely demise. Good Grief. Really?
After the weekend of the execution, I went up to the lake to cut grass and spend a couple of days there with the dog. I discovered where the deceased had found his way in and promptly filled the hole with steel wool to keep his relatives out and figured that things would get back to normal.
Unfortunately, my roommate that weekend was a very old, very deaf, very lumpy beagle with the nose of a dog half her age. Maggie paced around the cabin until she found the chipmunk hole and promptly tore all the steel wool out of it. But this was just a start. She needed a bigger hole, which she made after pulling the baseboard off in a fit of beagle-insanity. She was a beagle on a mission in hot pursuit of whatever had left that fabulous chipmunk-y aroma there behind the easy chair the week before.
So as I’ve said, I am at war. My enemies? A family of chipmunks addicted to junk food and a geriatric beagle keen on home demolition.
And I’m pretty sure that I’ll be banning the feeding of Cheetos to chipmunks up at the cabin for the rest of the summer.
Sorry, boys. I think it was the BB gun that did me in.