Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saving A Chipmunk (a.k.a. Chippy)

Life has been busy so it was nice to go the campsite this past weekend and chill. The weather was beautiful and it was the first weekend of the campground opening where we could spend the night. The first weekend always involves reuniting with camp friends and having 'family' dinner which will continue all season on Saturday nights, then someone or more will pop over for breakfast and there's the conversations of 'how was your winter?'

With it, also came rescue. 

Sarah, from a campsite above us came into our site talking about a chipmunk being stuck. She went to the ladies bathroom, pulled her pajama pants down readying for her morning pee, only to hear something splishing and splashing. A chipmunk was swimming for it's life in the toilet. She had no idea how to help it, came running down, quickly explaining. I didn't want to help at first because I was feeling so bad for it and what if it died? and so on. R. gave me the "you want me to go save a chipmunk?" "um, yes, please." I could tell, it was not on his list of things to do that morning so I pumped up my courage, grabbed a pan and high tailed it to the ladies bathroom. There it was, still scrambling, stressed out. I lifted it out and put it on the ground. He was so exhausted, but he tried to crawl a little, most likely to try to get away from us, but it was too much work. So, Sarah and I hung out for a few minutes, watching a couple more feeble attempts at moving along. He was shivering. I petted him. He was wet, I imagine the toilet water was probably pretty cold since it had gotten quite cool during the night. I finally took off my fleece and picked him up. I've picked up distressed wild creatures before always fearing a bite, but I don't think it ever crosses their minds to bite. It's like they know. Would a chippy bite, anyway?

I cuddled him into my fleece to get him warm. His little heart was beating so fast and he continued to shiver. I brought him down to my site and R. looked at me and said, "do you have it? really?" "yes, really." Now don't get me wrong. R. has a very kind heart to creatures, but he's also a realist. In the world of the woods, there are many chippies and sometimes they die, or should be left to die. I reminded him that it's one of the reasons he loves me....compassion to animals. He gave me a look and said, with a twinkle in his eye, "are you sure?" .....yeah, he's a riot sometimes. 

So, I sat down by the fire which Mr. Sweety-Pie had blazing for me and continued to cuddle the little creature. He was happy to feel the love, I could tell. I rubbed him a bit, in quick movements, thinking it might help him. Hey, I saw it on Animal Planet with new kittens and puppies, to get them breathing. I realize, yes, he was already breathing, but it might get him warmer quicker. After awhile, I really did need to pay attention to my morning camp duties and felt he was doing OK enough to put him down. I placed him on the rock wall near the fire so he could continue getting warm until he was ready to go on his way. 

When I went back, he was gone. Yeyyy. 

The next day, R. was working out near the fire pit and little Chippy was watching him. Now, really, we don't know it was the same one, but on the other hand, you know how you know it really has to be the same one? R. came and got me. The little guy was just sitting there, looked at me with no fear in his eyes, watched. Then I went a little too close and off he went. It had to be him. These things happen and you just know. 

R. says to me, "he came back to say thank you." See? told you he really had a kind heart. :) I put out some cracker pieces for Chippy and after a few minutes, there he was, chomping away. 

I don't know if future chippies in the stone wall will be this little guy, but I'll always think of him when I see one. 


  1. for some reason I see you writing and illustrating a kids book called "Chippy".

  2. Awwww, sweet story. My yard used to be overrun with chippies until the cat arrived on the scene. Now there appear to be none.


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