Mr. Chipmunk shivered to himself in the brisk autumn air. The Meeting had been a harried affair, the shouts and cries of angry colony chipmunks still ringing in his ears, proclaiming doom and gloom, a never-ending battle over division of this year’s chestnut supply and the Great Human Problem.
Mr. Chipmunk had had enough. He had been listening constantly to the Twitter Wireless,* reading the latest from the Rodent Herald every morning, hearing his twelve children discuss the Chipster vote over the dinner table every evening, and he was tired. He wanted no more of it. He wanted not to see another chipmunk leader, hear another birdie commentator, or read one more bit of owl analysis until spring.
Mr. Chipmunk thought all this as he scampered the last few leaps over Uneven Stone Wall back to Warm & Cozy Burrow. He scurried over a large fallen log towards a very comfortable, still green patch of cushion moss. Darting between the ferns, Mr. Chipmunk found Mrs. Chipmunk standing in the entrance of Warm & Cozy Burrow with her hands on her hips.
“Why Harold!” exclaimed Mrs. Chipmunk. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost! Whatever is the matter?”
Mr. Chipmunk just shook his head. “It was terrible, just terrible Cynthia,” he said. “I’m telling you, I have a right mind to stay locked up in Warm & Cozy Burrow for the next six months…maybe forever, if things don’t improve!”
Mrs. Chipmunk cocked her head to the side sympathetically. “I totally understand my dear. I had the same sort of feeling myself…been listening to the Wireless all day, it’s exhausting.”
Mr. Chipmunk looked at her from the corner of the eye. He hadn’t seriously considered hibernating…but if Mrs. Chipmunk was serious, well maybe, just maybe…
“Come into the Burrow, dear,” said Mrs. Chipmunk. “I’ve just made some fresh chestnut brownies.” As Mr. Chipmunk’s nostrils quivered from the scents of fresh bread and chocolate, he could see she had made a lot more than that – the kitchen shelves were overflowing with a whole season’s worth of hearty cakes and nutty breads.
“How’s the larder looking?” They ducked into an expansive pantry where hundreds of aged cheeses and jars of fermenting vegetables and preserves were stacked on top of each other.
“I would say we’re pretty well set,” said Mrs. Chipmunk.
Mr. Chipmunk took a quick tour of the rest of the Burrow – everything was spick and span, the living room moss cushions freshly spruced, all 15 bedrooms neat and orderly. He looked in on the 12 Chipsters, cozily bundled up together in sleeping bags in the den, watching the latest reality cooking show.
“You’ve been planning this?”
Mrs. Chipmunk winked at him. “We thought the Meeting might be the acorn to break the chipmunk’s cheek, as the saying goes. The kids and I need this break…they’ve promised not to check the Twittering even once for updates.”
“Well…well good then!” said Mr. Chipmunk. All of a sudden he felt a delicious lightness float down on him, as the realization of complete freedom from all news and serious thoughts of the world for at least one winter sank in. He beamed at Mrs. Chipmunk. “Let’s have some tea then, and a game of bridge!” The two chipmunks snuggled down together under a wooly blanket, the game board between them, tea and a plate of biscuits within arm’s reach warmed by chestnut coals in the den.
*Quick clarification for our human readers: in Chipmunk world the “Twitter Wireless” has nothing to do with so-called human “social media,” but instead refers to the ancient and venerated practice of bird-transmitted news, in the form of ‘twittering’.
(not tweets. never. tweets.)
- Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave with coconut oil.
- Add rest of ingredients, combine well.
- Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Curl up with a good book in front of a fire in a burrow of your choosing, and enjoy 🙂