I was sitting on the deck when the scrabble of little feet against tree bark drew my attention to three little chipmunks scurrying around and around the pine at the corner of the yard. They were so tiny, it had to have been their first day out of the nest.
They played follow the leader for a while until the leader came rushing toward the deck. The second in line went down the wall. The third stopped at the top of big root and gazed down the slant of the root and the land as if not sure how to continue on this trek through this big world. And the world must indeed seem very big when you are only 4 inches long with legs about 1/2 an inch high. Instinct is an amazing thing though and they continued to find their way over the rocks, around the trunks, up and down the hill.
The little one, looking down the chasm of roots, finally turned and headed back up the hill. The second came up and into the bushes. The leader headed rapidly up the post at the end of the deck railing . . . and stopped. Above his head was the top of the railing. How to get around and over? He studied that problem for a long while - probably 5 minutes or more. Long enough for me to take the pictures and still have time to watch. Finally he turned down again and off he went, soon to be joined by the others running, running, running.
And then, suddenly, they were gone. Did mama call them back to the nest? Did some instinct tell them the sun was now too hot? I don’t know. They were gone. And instinct and a sense of more adventure in the wide wide world will bring them out again about 4. Meanwhile, they nap and grow stronger so the world will not be quite so wide this afternoon.