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a chipmunk husking peanuts
Acrylic on pine panel, 12 x 15 3/4 in (2012)

A resident of every cottage, campsite, and recreational areas in Ontario. Well, at least to the places I have been.

Stories of chipmunks running up trouser legs, down shirt fronts and in and out of pockets are the stories of grandparents. Finally in later years we are able to sit still while chippy sheds some its natural fear of humans, and help themselves by checking out all of the usual hiding places.

People of all ages find them amusing as they carefully approach a plate of peanuts, or just in a pile left on the ground. Humans hanging out nearby do not seem to present a danger, though dogs and cats are definitely out. They will take offerings right out of your hand if you are patient (and still) enough, and even let you raise your hand upwards with them still aboard.

They load cheeks big enough to store four or more peanuts (with shell) and go scampering off with tail high, a chattering squeak that could mean something in chipmunk. Maybe they think they got away with something . . . maybe they did. Maybe they are saying "I'm home, let's eat."

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P.O. Box 659, Winchester, Ontario. K0C 2K0   613-774-5180
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© 2012 Douglas Laing