Gun . . . Control?!

You don't see a picture of me here because I am hiding behind hay bales on this one . . . All I have to say is Yikes!  That chipmunk is a friend of mine, even if he is a thief!  Love, Hoopie

As a woman who is not overly fond of guns and does her best to ignore the piece of metal her policeman son carries to work every night, the fact that I am considering buying a weapon to use against the creatures taunting me represents a major shift in attitude.

OK, it won't be a really bad gun: maybe just an air gun or a squirt gun. But desperate times call for desperate measures. And what has made me so desperate?

The varmint pictured here that keeps raiding my "chipmunk-and-squirrel-proof" bird feeder (notice how full his pouches are).  Because we like watching the birds who visit the feeder, we attached it to the deck so we could view their comings and goings from inside the house. The deck, meanwhile, also became home to the first tomato and sunflower plants ever owned by my spouse, who heretofore should be referred to as “Farmer Frank” for this tale.

Meanwhile, I think my neighbors are beginning to question my sanity after hearing me repeatedly yell "Get off of there!" and seeing me run out onto the deck waving a broom. This seems to have little effect on the chipmunks and squirrels, however. So I did some research on the Internet and although adding lots of red pepper to the birdseed seems to keep away most of the squirrels, I’ve now learned that the pepper that makes me sneeze for days apparently doesn't bother chipmunks because of their fur-lined pouches.

I was complaining about this wildlife development during a phone conversation with my oldest son, the policeman, when he asked: "How do you know it's the same chipmunk?"

"Because he's taunting me," I replied. "I fill the bird feeder and the stupid thing keeps jumping on it and draining it before the day is over."

"How can you be sure it's just one chipmunk?" he persisted.

"Stop talking like a cop. I've got evidence," I grumbled as I continued my surveillance of the deck while we conversed. "Dammit," I suddenly yelled. "There ARE two of them."

My son then wondered why Buddy the dog wasn't enough to frighten the creatures away from the bird feeder located so close to the house.

"Are you kidding? That dog barely even woofs at anything but the wind," I said.

My son then suggested that a BB shot or an air pellet fired at the chipmunk's bottom might do the trick. As I considered this option, I saw the little critters scurrying toward the "crops" and alerted my spouse, who was on the extension. "They're stealing your tomatoes!" I yelled.

Farmer Frank, who normally is so laid-back that some people think he must be from California instead of Kansas, erupted. "That's it. We're getting a .357 Magnum."

Our son exploded in laughter. "The gun will be bigger than the chipmunk," he wisely noted.

"I don't care," proclaimed the man who once led peace marches. "We're talking tomatoes now. This is war."

Like I said, these are desperate times. Do you have any ideas on how we can at least win the battle of the chipmunks -- short of purchasing heavy artillery?


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