It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be another creature’s jackpot. Chipmunks have a very rough life fraught with constant danger and often, enmity from humans. Desi, a new friend this season who was one of the chipmunk babies from last fall all grown up almost got killed by my neighbor’s dog this morning. She lives in her yard but comes to visit. I was outside waiting for her and I heard growling, then the sound of the dog slamming into the fence and rustling leaves. I’ve heard this before and usually I see a squirrel running for its life over the fence. Today it was sweet little Desi only she made her escape through a small space underneath it.
The last time we saw Sunny, the chipmunk who had only a stub left of her tail, was a few days after our wedding in September. According to my research chipmunk’s tails do not grow back. As you can see in the photo above from last summer, whatever happened to Sunny caused her to lose not just her tail but the fur around it. Because the other chipmunks went underground for their winter torpor at the same time (one to two months earlier than the year prior) I was confident then that she was safe in her burrow. Even though I hadn’t seen her this spring I wasn’t giving up since we’ve had so many cold rainy days that it has felt more like March than May.
This morning after more days of cold rain the sun rose and quickly warmed things. I still had seen no sign of her, even after I walked over to her house entrance and called her name. Not long afterward I was standing in my backyard speaking with a salesman about an estimate when Sunny suddenly appeared (after Buster had followed me around like a little puppy and Tailor tried to chase him away)! However, what I saw next filled with such hope and joy that I had to share it with you here!
One day Wishy wasn’t his usual “chipper” self.
“Are you sad, Wishy?” the teacher asked.
“Yes. I wish that summer would last all winter long!”
Summer in Maine is a beautiful season. The teacher wished it would last longer, too. She knew not all wishes can come true even though they are nice to have.
Excerpted from Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk.
Although Maine will not become an endless summer, one of my dear wishes has magically come true!