What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

On the chipmunk with OCD

I have a two-foot wide gravel foundation border at the rear of the house. It is about a foot thick and keeps grass from growing up against the house where I would have to trim it. I started noticing a small six-inch deep hole dug right in the middle of the gravel bed. There was nothing in the hole. It didn’t seem to go anywhere. It was just a shallow hole.

I would push the gravel, which was neatly piled around the hole, back into the hole. The next day, the exact same hole would reappear in exactly the same spot. This happened several times.

One day while I was working in the yard, I happened to look over and saw a small chipmunk earnestly excavating the hole that I had just filled in. He dug it down exactly six inches. He did not try to make a tunnel. He didn’t bury any nuts in the hole (Do chipmunks bury nuts or is that only a squirrel thing?). He simply dug the hole. Neatly piled the gravel next to it. Then ran away.

I left the hole as it was, but checked on it every couple of days. No change. Nothing was buried. The hole was not enlarged. It was still just a shallow hole in the middle of the gravel. I pushed the gravel back in. The next day, the hole reappeared.

I mentioned the chipmunk and his hole habit to my neighbor. He suggested that I put out a trap to kill the chipmunk. I decided that capital punishment was a bit harsh even for a rodent that obviously suffered from a personality disorder. If I had access to the psychotropic drugs used to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I would have preferred to leave small, chipmunk sized dosages at the site of the hole. I might be able to find a psychiatrist who specialized in chipmunks who suffer from OCD. I could leave his tiny business card by the side of the hole with the words, “Please get help”, handwritten in miniature chipmunkish script on the back. Perhaps, I could get his chipmunk family and friends to organize an intervention. They could put their furry little paws on his fuzzy shoulders, look him in his beady eyes and explain to him how his unseemly behavior could cause him to be ostracized by the rest of chipmunk society. In time, leaving him gray furred, lonely and embittered at the side of his hole surrounded by his pathetic pile of pebbles.

I decided not to fill in the hole this time. Instead, I put the biggest rock that I could carry right on top of it. After all, I wouldn’t want his long-suffering little chipmunk family to accuse me of being his enabler.


Blogger Vest said...

The second sentence of your profile is completely untrue, I have spent about an hour mesmerised by your posts, I shall start on a few more tomorrow, it is such a pity there are so few people like your good self, who can express themselves as honestly as you do.

12/11/05 3:31 AM  
Blogger Glory said...

Oh my goodness. Take that rock away. Poor little chipmunk...can you imagine his stress level now? Is that hole hurting you any? There's something to be said for enabling.

12/11/05 7:57 AM  
Blogger HCaldwell said...

His stress was short lived. When I went out and looked this morning. He had dug a shallow trench under one side of the rock and made his hole (in exactly the same spot!) anyway. I just hope that his chipmunk children don't sue me for allowing their father's compulsion to destroy their small furry lives. If so, I am sending them to your house!

12/11/05 8:26 AM  
Blogger HCaldwell said...

Thank you. The compliment is appreciated and the admiration is mutual.
(By the way, "Sweaty-Smelly trotter syndrome" gave me a lengthy chuckle.)

12/11/05 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking you could email the Missouri Conservation. They surely would have an answer. I am sure the hole is for something special to the Chipmunk.

24/11/05 7:34 AM  

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