Chef John Malik

a writer in a cook's body

Chipmunk City


A story for my daughter’s Third Grade class

We have a lot of Chipmunks in our yard and I mean a lot of chipmunks.  Every time I open the front door there are three or four hanging out on the porch and there are always six or seven of those little furry guys running around our back yard.  Whenever I go outside I see chipmunks.  Whenever I go to a friend’s house here in Greenville, I see more chipmunks.  But I only see them just for a second because they quickly disappear.  One second they are little brown blurs running through the grass, cheeks fat with acorns, chipmunk slobber flying off their little chipmunk lips, the next second they are gone.  Sometimes when I am sitting outside quietly reading the newspaper, I get the feeling that I am being watched so I will slowly glance up from the newspaper and sure enough I see beady little chipmunk eyes staring at me from the yard.  As soon as the chipmunks see me looking at them they will pop their furry little heads back into the ground.  I don’t trust chipmunks because I think they’re up to no good.  Why else would they hide every time I look at them?  People that study animals like chipmunks tell me chipmunks live underground in tiny caves connected by thin tunnels but I just don’t believe that.   Why?  Because the chipmunks I see in my yard are just too clean and neat and furthermore the chipmunks are very organized.  They’re always sending our dogs on wild chipmunk chases, one chipmunk will pop its little furry head up long enough to get my dog’s attention while on the other side of the yard five or six chipmunks will rush out of their tunnels and steal a pile of dog food, bird seed or one of my dog’s chew toys.  I don’t trust those chipmunks with their beady little eyes and their clever chipmunk ways.

What do you suppose those chipmunks are doing down there, beneath the grass, shrubs and dogwood trees?  Do you think that they spend their days living with earthworms, grubs and dirt and they only come out when they are hungry?  I don’t.  In fact I think they are planning to take over the world, that’s what I think they’re doing.  I think that those chipmunk holes are just a disguise.  I think that at the bottom of the deepest chipmunk hole, way down below my yard there is a giant chipmunk city filled with great chipmunk machines that are powered by acorns, birdseed, dog food and chew toys.  I think chipmunks have been working on their plan for a long time.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because I hear something outside but when I go outside there’s nothing there.  But I think what I heard was one of the chipmunk machines breaking down because the chew toy that made it run has snapped in half.  I’m afraid that one day there will be a great rumble like an earthquake and the ground will boil and shake, the street and sidewalks will buckle and pop, trees will fall over then out of the ground will come this enormous chipmunk machine, powered by all manner of stretchy dog chew toys and it will shoot flaming acorns and great gobs of gooey chipmunk slobber.  The machine will crunch down the street and head to City Hall and the chipmunks will demand that the Mayor give them control of the city.  We will be at the mercy of the chipmunks because we will not want to get blasted with great gobs of gooey chipmunk slobber and flaming acorns.

I think we had all better keep our eyes on these chipmunks dashing about our yards, chipmunk slobber flying off their fat little chipmunk mouths filled with acorns & bird seed, distracting our dogs, stealing our dog food and chew toys and plotting their little chipmunk plots.  Stranger things have happened.

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen


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