Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The year I was 13 (I think.). My Dad came home from the sawmill, carrying his hat in both his hands. Mom and I happened to look out the front window and wondered: ''what? in the world!?'............
Dad came in the front yard gate. Mom and I went to the front door and stepped out. 'What's the matter?' we asked. Dad said, 'look'. And in his hat were five baby Chipmunks.
What happened was, that he and my uncle had gone over to the sawmill and were shoveling sawdust into the furnaces to build up the fires so the boilers that ran the mill would be hot enough for Monday morning. As Daddy put in the shovel to get sawdust from the bin down to the furnace. He saw a chipmunk nest fall out. He just saved them in time. A poor silly little female chipmunk had found a crack in the sawdust bin, and thought would be a safe place for her young. Isn't that sad? So Dad knew she would not be back. So he did his best to save the kits. He brought the five babies home. At that time there weren't any Wildlife Rescue centers. The nearest SPCA was two hours south.
We really did our best to save all of them, but, only one male survived. Little wild creatures are very delicate and their nervous systems so fragile. Dad told the Forest Ranger about them and asked for feeding information. Also the feedstore in town because people have rabbits. One cousin had rabbits too.
We named our little orphan 'Napoleon' because he was a real conqueror. He was so winsome, so sweet. We all just loved him. He knew it too. We didn't keep him in a cage. We let him have the run of the house. Later, when we thought about it. Goodness! what would we have done with 'five' chipmunks!? He was quite clean. Mom and I found where he left his droppings and carefully cleaned, because we didn't want him to change places. Napper had little nests all over the house. Because that is what they do in the wild. To protect themselves from predators. One in each bedroom, (In one of my shoe boxes.), one on the back laundry porch. Dad found a box and put it on the screen front porch. And Napper had one there.
We were not going to keep him. We were only trying to raise him so he was big enough to fend for himself outside.
He was such a delight and he thought these big creatures were fun to play with. He would jump up on us and get a ride . He liked to ride on top of my Dad's hat. He would jump on our beds and wake us up in the mornings. I think he would be lonely. He also liked to go under the covers and run around. Napper loved to get inside our shirts amd blouses. He thought it was great fun. I know, but he was so funny. He knew what he was doing. Napper was a bright eyed little rascal. Healthy and active, he loved to play.
When he began to climb on the screens of the front porch we knew he wanted out. We didn't think he was old enough yet. I guess he felt he was though. Because the time came when one night we came home from town, and he didn't run to meet us. We looked all over. And could not find him. We were very dismayed. He must have slipped out before we left. We didn't notice. We may have had him most of the Summer. We have always felt really lucky to have had a friend like Napper, even if only for a few short months. He enriched our lives, we hoped we had given him a good start. We just hope he was able to survive for however long chipmunks live.
My Dad was going to take him out to the woods out back, because it would be safer and easier for him. Not to be.
Turned out he was an;'Allen's Chipmunk'.
This is the only decent pic I could find. However, think more like "Chip and Dale".

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