Thursday, April 11, 2013

Remembering Chippy Short-Tail

It feels like we’ve had a very long winter.  Spring continues to stall.  Early this morning, my little dog Phoebe and I took a walk in the bush and we were able to walk on the crust.  This is unusual for April; however the temperature was -5 degrees C.

Although, there is still a lot of snow in the bush, we are seeing slow signs of spring; the ice on the pond blackening, the cooing of a mourning dove and five Canada geese flying V formation to the marsh on Peace Valley Road.  During our walk, we came across a saucy red squirrel running for cover.

Yesterday, Phoebe and I spotted a chipmunk in my back yard, one of Chippy’s babies.  I called to the chipmunk, as he sat on the bricks watching us with interest.

Chippy Short-tail as I called her, was a curious little soul that first introduced herself five summers ago by jumping into my lap one spring afternoon as I was outside sketching.  She came by her name as most of her tail was missing.  I presumed bitten off, or caught on something.

Sketches of Chippy Short-tail. ©Eleanor Thorel

She became a constant companion each spring, summer and fall, looking for treats such as sunflower seeds and peanuts.  Rambunctious and daring, she thought nothing of climbing onto our laps, running along an outstretched hand and onto a shoulder.

Two summers ago Chippy brought her two babies whom I nicknamed Percy and Chippy Long-tail to visit with us.  These little rascals were constantly running into the house and then getting frantic trying to find a way out.  Last spring was the last time we saw Chippy Short-tail.

Sketch of one of the chippies in the garden.
©Eleanor Thorel

She had lived to be a good age; greying and silver backed her coat still shining and healthy.  We won’t see her this spring, but she will always be remembered.


forestry said...

What a wonderful blog post about Chippy Short-tail. Her absence from the garden last summer certainly was noticed by both of us. She was never far off and as soon as she heard us exit the house she would come scampering over expecting a treat or two. If we didn't see her immediately, she would come to our call. What a dear little soul she was...

Eleanor Thorel said...

She sure was..