Bardeleben, age 8, Hanover Park, IL – giving chipmunk kisses
to mom (Heather Bardeleben).
© photo by Bill Bardeleben.
"My 8-year-old granddaughter was here last weekend and loves watching the birds at our feeders. She is getting very good at identifyingthem, and any she wonders about she looks up in our bird book. While watching the birds, she saw some chipmunks in the grass. I realized she hadn't been here since we received your book, so I got my copy and we went out on the porch and read it.
She loved puffing out her cheeks to look like Chippy. She then wanted to give me a chipmunk kiss -- with her cheeks all puffed out....and mine that way, too. That became the "item" of the weekend with her mom, dad, Doug and I all giving and getting chipmunk kisses.
We then did it via Skype this week.....
A new tradition has begun thanks to you!!!"
Kate Bandos (Nana) Ada, Michigan
A Child's First Parcel
"We live in a rural area and I let our 4 year old run out to the community post box to check the mail. When your book arrived, he was thrilled to find his first parcel ever. We had to go out and buy envelopes the next day so he could mail something to everyone he knew. He brought the package down to the house and opened it near our bay window, and with a stroke of luck, our Chippy was sitting outside the window. He was extremely confused as to how Chippy wrote and mailed him a book!"
John Galbraith, Port Perry, Ontario
An Old Lodge Brother
"Mary Ferry's Peanut Shop between Wyoming and Laurel streets in Hazleton was my port of call as a fey teen. I always bought extra peanuts to take to the Vine Street Cemetery where I'd loaf under the shady green canopy of elms, spruces, and oaks, feeding squirrels and chipmunks. One little chippy was so tame he'd nestle next to me nibbling nuts like an old lodge brother."
Michael Apichella, London, England
Swaying in the Breeze
"One day my Mom was tending her garden and doing some pruning. In her Service Berry tree there had been a nest of baby robins, but they had long since fledged. On this particular day the nest wasn't empty. Inside, all curled up was a little chipmunk having a snooze. His little arm was on the edge of the nest with his chin resting on it. There was a gentle breeze swaying the branches. Mom went to get her camera, but when she returned, the little guy was gone."
On one of my visits to my Mom and Dad's, my mother was recounting this little story to me and took me over to the Service Berry tree to show me the nest. We were both thrilled to see that the chipmunk had returned and was having another snooze! He was curled up in a tight ball with his tail wrapped around the top of his head. I've never seen anything quite so cute!"
Susan Caverly, Kemptville, ON Canada
Plop, Plop, Plop
"One day I was watering the plants outside when I spotted a chipmunk with REALLY big cheeks. It looked at me and froze. Plop, plop, plop. He dropped the acorns out of his mouth one by one and then he ran away."
Keely Shellhamer (age 8) Birdsboro, PA
"I was at a Girl Scouts Camp when a curious chipmunk entered one of our tents. All the girls screamed at the top of their lungs until the counselor chased it out with a broom!"
Caitlin Shellhamer (age 11) Birdsboro, PA
"Most mornings my wife puts out a small plate filled with seeds and nuts. The chipmunk will come out of his hole and have breakfast with us. On those days when my wife forgets to put out the food the chipmunk chirps to let us know he is waiting or he'll peer into the glass door wondering where everyone is."
Barry Walters, Cincinnati, OH
"My husband and I just observed something funny in our yard. A chipmunk had a big, long nightcrawler held between his paws. The worm was wiggling all around while the chipmunk kept shoving one end of the worm deeper into his mouth, chomping away on it, like a big spaghetti noodle! It took about 5 minutes for him to eat it.".
Amy Beres, Publisher of Schuylkill News
Food Network Fan
"Our resident chipmunk loves to watch the Food Network. He stands on our back deck and peers at the TV through the sliding glass door. With other channels he doesn't stick around, but when the Food Network is on, he stays to watch!"
Linda & Bob, Mystic, Connecticut
"When I was little, I had a memorable chipmunk encounter in Yellowstone National Park. I was sitting in my red raincoat, eating a Windmill cookie. A chipmunk suddenly appeared. He proceeded to run up one arm, across my shoulders and down the other arm where he promptly snatched the cookie right out of my hand!"
Cathy (visiting Hamburg, PA)
Out of the Mouths of Babes
"When my daughter Taylor was little, she and her 3-year old neighbor Erin were looking out the dining room window when they spotted a chipmunk. Erin shouted excitedly, "Look at that Squirwell!" Taylor responded, "That's not a Squirwell, that's a Chickenmunk!"
Vicky Polk, Webster, NY
Just Like Home
"My wife and I were camping in Vermont. After watching chipmunks all day, we retired for the night in our lean-to. During the night I heard rustling. Imagine my surprise when I awoke to the sight of a chipmunk sitting at the bottom of our air mattress! At home we usually have 2 cats and a dog sleeping at the end of our bed."
Shilough Hopwood, Doylestown, PA
"I had a chipmunk visitor who appeared regularly in my yard for peanuts. He came up with funny ways of getting my attention. He would jump all around on the stairs, but realized that didn't work if I wasn't looking out the window. One day I was sitting at my desk working, when I heard this "thump" on the window. I turned around to see my little chipmunk friend perched on top of the barbecue next to the window. He was jumping against the bottom of the screen to make noise. As summer got warmer, I started leaving the door open, and one morning my little chipmunk friend came in to join me for coffee. I didn't see him come in, and he didn't venture any further than the plastic mat right inside the door way. He got my attention by shuffling around on the mat, making a scratching noise with his toenails. He was the Einstein of all chipmunks."
Jim, Port Townsend, WA
"Our family enjoys the lakes and cabins of northern Wisconsin in the summer. As we sit on the deck by the lake, we can hear the scurrying of the chipmunks running around us in the woods. We brought out some leftover mashed potatoes and set it on the deck. To our amazement the chipmunks got curious and came to climb on the mound of potatoes and tried to eat some. After that we placed seeds and peanuts in the shell on the toes of our shoes to see how brave they would be. Yes, they love peanuts and will come up to you to get them. We have fun playing with them each summer."
LJ Ann Gilbert, Eagle, WI
"Just last week my cat brought a chipmunk into the house just to play. My dog, cat and I were all racing around without a good plan. Finally the little chipmunk escaped into a hole in the kitchen cabinet, out of everyone's reach. I purchased a live trap and read about what would best attract them. I then made a ball of peanut butter rolled in pecans and placed it inside, put the dog and cat out of the way, and sat reading in another room. I was completely startled when the trap fired and lots of commotion led me to believe I had captured our guest that had been treated so impolitely. I am sure the chipmunk was happy to be back in the yard."
Betty Wadland, Okemos, Michigan
"One Year my Mom's companion, Carl, befriended a chipmunk in the garden. Carl named him Alvin. Alvin loved peanuts.
Alvin lived in the back yard, in a hole. Carl would put a peanut on the back porch every day.
At first, Alvin stayed far away from Carl, but he came closer with each day, Finally Alvin came close enough to take a peanut out of Carl's hand. As the summer days went by, Alvin eventually hopped right onto Carl's lap for a peanut!
After that, Alvin hopped up readily into Carl's lap where he would sit and eat, or sometimes take it down into his hole for safekeeping. It became their daily ritual for the rest of the summer. Carl would call Alvin and Alvin would come.
One day in early fall, many peanuts later Alvin hopped up as usual onto Carl's lap. But this time, before he took his peanut, Alvin had something to give to Carl; Alvin had stored a small rock in his cheeks that he spit into Carl's hand, and then Alvin looked up at him as if to say, "This is for you, my friend, thank you for giving me so much". Then Alvin took his peanut and scurried off.
And so, Alvin, in his own little chipmunk way repaid Carl for his daily kindness. Strange how animals can communicate how they feel without words and with a simple sweet gesture like the gift of a small rock."
Marian Twigg, Forestville, PA
Warning - Never attempt to hand feed, pet or hold a wild animal. Chipmunks have very sharp teeth and claws. They can bite, even if by accident. The next two stories demonstrate two more reasons not to let chipmunks crawl on you.
"One summer I stayed in Canada, at a cottage by a lake. Chippies were running all over. I had slathered my legs with suntan lotion and one determined little chipmunk was trying to climb up my leg. He kept sliding down. I thought it was funny... until I felt something wet on my shorts!"
Judy Ketz, New Ringgold, PA
"I am retired, and find it a real joy to watch chipmunks from my backyard deck. I currently have eight regular visitors, each with its own nickname, like "Short Tail". The little guys greet me each morning when they run up the steps to get their peanuts. I even had one chipmunk come up on my shoulder and take a peanut out of my pocket. I nicknamed this chipmunk "Winnie the Pooh", as she "pooed" all over me.!"
Ray Melder, Cranberry Township, PA