Feeding the Beast
Prior to buying our cottage in 2017, we were part owners of a hunt camp/cottage with 6 other families, near Port Loring. Previous musings have elaborated on the Ranger Bay Boys and our “camp”. That is where the battle of the chipmunks began.
These little rodents are cute as a button, and soon can coerce you into believing they are harmless. In fact they are anything but – they captivate you with their cuteness and then start to call in all their friends to take advantage of your hospitality and vulnerability to their friendly personalities.
I have fed them, stroked them, let them take peanuts out of my mouth and ears, and played games like “fishing for chipmunks”.
Chipmunks, unlike red squirrels, are not prone to doing damage in your attic or pooping all over your deck furniture. Red squirrels are relentless in their pursuit of food and are part of nature’s criminal element. In fact, I had a red squirrel chew through our kitchen screen and try his damnedest to pull a hot dog bun out through the hole. 😡
Chipmunks are less destructive, but determined diners nonetheless.
Fishing for chipmunks is enormous fun and does not in any way hurt the chipper. You simply tie a peanut on the end of a fishing line and wait for your prey. They will pull it, chase it, try to run with it – and eventually figure out how to break the string. I know, I know – small minds!! Try it. I implore you. Your grandchildren will thank me 😁
After having mastered the art of luring in these tantalizing little rodents for some afternoon snacks we found that they, like the red squirrels, were relentless in the pursuit of an easy meal. Sometimes loading up their jowls with 3 or 4 peanuts at a time, disappearing to their hideaway and scurrying back for more.
The problem is, they never get tired of the free food source.
2 or 3 years ago, our friends Barb and Archie Ginson were visiting for a few days at the cottage. Archie has a terrific sense of humour and has a little bite to his sarcasm. He once told Karen that before he got to know her, that he thought she was a flake. To her credit, Karen to this day, still thinks that was hilarious.
Tough on the outside, he is a marshmallow on the inside and a wee bit apprehensive about things in nature – like bears, moose, coyotes – even chipmunks. He was a little wary of getting overly friendly with our furry little visitors.
Barb on the other hand is fearless, never letting her diminutive stature getting in her way of adventure. She is the first one to sign up for a new challenge or adventure. Bears should be VERY afraid of Barb.
Arriving back at the cottage after a brief sojourn (likely to the aforementioned chip wagon!), it became readily apparent that we had a problem. At least one of the little buggars had chewed through our patio screen door and gotten into the cottage. Soon, we found remnants of chocolate (who knew they had a sweet tooth), and deposits of peanut shells in a towel in the bathroom.
Cue the Chipmunk Busters!
Archie and I put our heads together so we had the machinations of at least one brain – and determined we would catch the little monster and relocate him so he would be someone else’s problem.
Having a plastic container with peanuts in it gave us the perfect trap. Archie would sit near the open container and entice our little friend into the box with his charming personality and quick wit. When that didn’t work, he just hung out watching for Oscar, the chipmunk from hell.
Eventually the little buggar stuck his head in the container and being unable to control his greed, soon went all in.
Archie sprung into action, He slammed the lid shut and with great pride, announced that we had our prey.
Now – what to do? What to do?
Being the mastermind of this scheme, I took over. After all, I am a professional in the art of catch and release. 🤣
The Relocation Project
“Arch, bring the little shit along and we will drive down the cottage road until we find a good place to release him. You sit with him between your legs, and I will drive”
Now I am not inherently evil, it’s just that when I think something might be funny, I can’t help myself. I don’t know what part of my brain activates in these moments, but the rest was history. All synapses of my brain were now firing in anticipation.
As we began driving down the road, Archie was holding onto the lid for dear life, terrified that the little fur ball was going to escape and consume him.
My mind was spinning. I have an opportunity of a lifetime. What could I do to make this memorable??
Suddenly without warning, my hand shot out to my right – it was like I had a spasm – I couldn’t control it – and grabbed the lid of the container. Archie, caught by surprise didn’t know what was happening. The lid flew open.
AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!
That little bastard came out of the container like he was shot from a rocket. He was up Archie’s shirt, on the ceiling, across the dash, in the back seat, back to the dash, back and forth, back and forth – no doubt terrified – and so was the chipmunk!
In my infinite wisdom and to Archie’s horror I locked the door, to keep both Oscar and Archie inside to relish the moment. After all, these opportunities only come around so often!
The swearing and screaming and crying was not what I expected from a grown man. Archie was screaming like a banshee – good Lord; it was possibly the funniest thing I had ever seen.
“Let me out of this f’ing car. Let me out of this f’ing car right now you jerk!”.
Very unmanly and disrespectful I must say.
I pulled over, tears clouding my vision, opened the door and let our friend out of the car. The chipmunk escaped too and ran for safety.
Archie soon realized the hilarity of the situation and we laughed so hard I thought we would collapse in a heap on the edge of that sandy cottage road.
He has never let me forget what I did to him that fateful day in nature.
3 days later, Oscar the chipmunk was back on our deck with his voracious appetite – no doubt exhausted from the travel – and no worse for the wear.