When I was six years old, I lived in a small borough outside Pittsburgh called Greentree. I played outside, climbed trees, and ran around the neighborhood with my tiny friends. One of my favorite pastimes was sitting on my plastic lawnmower and riding it down my driveway into the basement garage. There was a satisfying “click-click-click” as the wheels rotated. I was low to the ground (for better wind resistance), and I weighed close to nothing: I was Speed Racer.
I remember very clearly on one run, I saw a “sleeping” chipmunk at the bottom of the driveway. Knowing this could be the famous Alvin, Simon, or Theodore, I called up to my mom who was weeding her garden, “Mom!!! I think Alvin is sleeping in the driveway!” My mother looked down, saw the half-dead chipmunk, and advised me loudly with very wide eyes to move away from the chipmunk. Now.
The rest of story involves a shovel.
Eastern chipmunks have distinctive stripes and large cheek pouches for carrying food. They dig burrows to store nuts and seeds for the winter since they don’t hibernate. On average, they live around three years in the wild. Sometimes, they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and have to be mercy killed by somebody’s mother.