a chipmunk in a bottle”
Although not quite the words of Sting and The Police the alteration was definitely appropriate today. I was walking through the garage after having planted three small boxwoods and I heard a strange scratching sound. My first thought was that a lizard had gotten stuck in the window. Then I began to think, it sounds too big to be a little lizard maybe a bird was trapped. This made sense as I have had mockingbirds get stuck in the garage before. As I got closer to the sound I didn’t see anything jumping around in the window as a bird would so I kept following the sound, deeper and deeper into the quagmire of stuff that is our garage. In one window of my garage I have a small portable greenhouse. It’s basically a set of shelves with a clear plastic sheath to cover it. It’s where I like to overwinter the cuttings of my plant propagation efforts. I spied down toward the bottom of the greenhouse toward the direction of the sound. The scratching sound was coming from an old drink bottle I use for watering.
I looked into the bottle and saw a little furry chipmunk trapped inside. The bottle was too tall for him to get out and the water inside was almost up to his head. The little guy was poking his head above the water with his toes outstretched just barely touching the bottom of the container. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t gain any traction.
It’s a good thing for the chipmunk that I only had the water bottle half full, or if you’re pessimistic half empty. Of course for him it probably doesn’t matter, he was just thinking “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I tend to leave the garage door open when I’m out in the yard so it was easy to figure out how he got inside. He’s just very lucky that I was out planting our boxwoods or I may never have been in the garage to hear his courageous escape efforts. After showing the little chipmunk to my daughter and hearing my wife say “you brought that in the house?” I let the chipmunk go in the back yard on a old gnarly dogwood. He was wet and shaking from his experience but hopefully will recover completely from his traumatic day.