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Wall Gremlins

Posted 10/6/2011 5:03pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

I like wildlife.  I like domesticated life too.  And I enjoy the junction of wild and domesticated life as well.   Hanging out laundry is much more interesting when there is a hawk flying overhead or an indigo bunting is singing nearby.  Jumping several deer from the wetlands when we are going to move cattle is always a thrill.   Then of course there are the chipmunks.   They live so close to our house that they seem to be confused as to whether they are wild or domesticated.   In my mind it is quite clear and I wish I could communicate with them so as to clarify the situation.   Mini, our furball cat, is also certain.  She has presented me with at least two chipmunk carcasses in the last year,  carcasses that she brought up from the basement and deposited just inside her cat door in the dining room.  Our basement has an old drainage pipe that leads outside and apparently acts as a chipmunk thoroughfare.   Honestly, one very late night several years ago, I could of sworn I saw a little shrew scurry across the living room floor.  I think Roy believe it was a dream, but since then Mini has deposited some shrews just inside her cat door too.  

Early this morning Roy and I woke the sound of something fairly large, perhaps the size of a chipmunk, scuttling inside the wall behind our bed.   I was tired and just couldn't bring myself to care.  We've gotten used to this happening on occasion and as long as they stay in the wall, fine.  If they were rats...it would be a different deal but all evidence suggests they are chipmunks, so just let me get back to sleep.  But... this particular rodent had business to attend to.   Apparently it had found a very tempting nut to crack and was going to have at it in the warm, cozy, wall behind our bed.   The gnawing and grinding went on and on.  We got out of bed and pounded on the wall, hoping to send it scurrying for cover outdoors, but after a moment's silence, it started up again.   What should one do about critters in the wall?   From the sound of it, that little gremlin was only inches away from me,  only horsehair plaster and lathe was between us.  After several minutes, the absurdity of the situation got to us and we began to create a story to explain its behavior and amuse ourselves.  What else is there to do?   Finally, the chipmunk gave up and quietly sneaked away, no doubt leaving a tough, old, black walnut as a gift to future wall gremlins that invade our home.