Imagine, if you will, arriving home on a beautiful summer day. It's early enough that you are planning to prep dinner, pack the kids for the holiday weekend and complete the rest of your paperwork for the day. You drop your laptop on the table and notice something odd on the bay window sill.

"What happened to the basil?" you ask yourself, moving in closer to inspect a mess of dirt on the floor. Closer yet you discover that not only is there a mess around the basil plant you grew from seeds (!), but the entire plant is gone. Not a leaf, not a root, not a stem. GONE.

Imagine then that you hear a noise and as you turn you scream like you just caught a madman creeping through your home. Only the madman is actually a small brown furry creature known more for tormenting Donald Duck than eating basil from a kitchen.

My first thought was not to chase it, but to race down the hall to my bedroom because I was wearing flats and a skirt. This situation clearly required winter boots. I slammed the bedroom doors shut and tore down the steps grabbing the kitchen broom on my way downstairs. I wasn't sure what the broom was going to do for me, but I wasn't going down there without something, anything.

Who do you call when you have a chipmunk in the house? Kiki of course!

"I'm living your worst nightmare," I told her. She suggested a call to the police for animal control. Yes, this seemed like a good solution, much better that I had imagined holding that broom, wearing those boots.

My call to the police was not so helpful as they told me that animal control was recently out of the area bringing another animal to the state lab for testing. He did offer to call her for me and when she called me back my heart sunk as she would be gone for at least a couple hours. She provided me a trapper named Barry's information. Barry was out of town until July 2nd.

No Animal Control.
No Barry.

Just me. And the chipmunk.

As I was talking with Animal Control I saw him. I whispered into the phone, "I see him. He's right there under the couch."

She suggested that the chipmunk was more scared of me than I was of him. Impossible. She further suggested I use my broom to sweep under the couch and push him towards the door. I built a blockade with the available furniture directing this furry trespasser out the open garage door. As I approached I heard the chirpy noise that chipmunks apparently make when they are afraid. This for me was scarier than the premise that there was an animal that belonged in my garden in my family room. Way worse.

I climbed on top of the couch and started whacking the front. There was some scurrying, but I never saw him. It would have been impossible for me to be watching every direction while whacking the couch and I wasn't sure if he was still under there, if he had ran out of the house, or if he had found a new spot to harass me from. This was not good.

Steve's suggestion was to turn the couch over. I didn't think that was funny at all. In fact, I think I demanded he come home that instant because me and my boots and the broom were not capable of handling this.

Later that night we set a humane chipmunk trap with some peanut butter and a strawberry. No chipmunk the next morning. In fact, we left it up the entire holiday weekend and still, no chipmunk.

No chipmunk. I am 97% sure he is gone. I am not looking foward to ever finding him or one of his friends in the house again. I have gotten 100% better at closing the door to the garage as we schlep the kids' stuff or the groceries into the house. We're pretty sure that's how he got in; garage to family room to kitchen.

I had to purchase a new broom this week. Steve broke the other one banging it on every stick of furniture down there. He wouldn't want me to tell you this, but I think he was just as scared as I was. In fact, I think he said, "when we find him, we are both going to scream like little girls."

I'll tell you one thing I know for sure, I am pretty pissed about that basil. I had plans for that basil. Pesto and lasagna and tomato salad.


  1. I was at my friend's house last weekend and she had a MOUSE in the house!!!! 3 of us screamed and giggled and with our hearts racing caught the little guy.

  2. So you never found him? Oh. Oh no. I'd probably pack.