New Castle News

July 5, 2013

Gary Church: Sorry, Charlie, a backyard funeral is coming soon

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — There was a time when we didn't have to worry about the chipmunk overpopulation in our neighborhood.

Big Tom next door took care of them for us.

Since Tom the Cat decided to move to the sunny shores of Texas, the chipmunks have made a big comeback.

I can live peaceably with them, but my dog Tyler is having a little problem accepting their presence in the yard.

Most of them stay out of his reach.

Of course, there had to be one that decided to cause some neighborhood problems.

Charlie the Chipmunk has erected a wonderful townhouse, right next to our patio.

One day, while Charlie was on his way home, he leisurely strolled right in front of the dog.

A chase ensued.

The speedy chipmunk safely made it to his underground condo.

This caused some major anger issues in the canine.

He started digging, and digging, and digging.

When my wife got home, and saw how filthy the dog was, she put a stop to it.

Since I've been busy, I have not had a chance to fill in the crater left by the dog.

But that turned out to be a good thing.

My grandson came over for a visit.

On some occasions, he likes to play funeral director.

In my day it was cowboys and Indians, but I go along with him.

Since I am the only mourner, my job is to cry uncontrollably, during the whole funeral service.

When I got asked to sing a song for the deceased, my selection was "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."

I don't think that is what he had in mind.

He then buried the pretend body in the chipmunk hole.

I cried some more.

His grandmother almost cried when she noticed the flowers at the funeral were from her double impatiens hanging basket.

I'm not sure how much intelligence a chipmunk has, but Charlie is not at the head of his class.

If I had something digging to kill me, and some kid putting sticks in the hole, I'd move.

This guy has decided to stay.

With the recent attempt of Tyler widening the hole, I may be forced to perform some last rights on old Charlie myself.

I'll just keep his funeral service short and simple, with no viewing.

Well, I might sing something about wanting a hula hoop.