chipmunkAfter another long, hard, New Jersey winter, spring is finally in the air. There’s the sound of running water from the melting snow. Buds threaten to pop. And little creatures are stirring.

Penelope has noticed too. Especially the little creatures.

Last year she caught the Easter bunny. (See No Jelly Beans for Penelope.) And, this year…

It started when I heard er-ruff, ruff, ruff in the kitchen. This is from the dog that seldom barks. I thought I saw a brown blur zipping along the counter top. My first thought was chipmunk. My second thought was, no way.

A vase crashed from the counter. Books and papers cascaded to the floor, followed by the blur.

In a corner, body blocked by Penelope, squeaked a chipmunk. (Yes, they squeak.)

I called my daughter and told her to grab the vacuum cleaner.

“Are you going to sweep him up?” she asked. “And leave the poor little guy stuck in the belly of the vacuum?”

“No,” I answered as I unhooked the vacuum’s hose and placed it on the floor.

“Get ready to grab this end, then don’t let go.”

As I swatted at the chipmunk with a placemat, Penelope lunged. Running out of options, the chipmunk sped into the end of the vacuum cleaner hose.

We snapped the hose upward. Now we each held an end and the chipmunk was making scratching noises in the middle.

The two of us marched outside and let the chipmunk go.

Penelope chased after it.

We yelled, “Penelope, cookie.” (She falls for it every time.)

And the chipmunk moved on.

Now wasn’t that easy?

That was fun. Let's do it again.

That was fun. Let’s do it again.




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