My Grandpa is a pretty amazing man. He never cured any mysterious diseases or won a Nobel prize, but he is just clever and patient and a lot of fun…and he ended the Rodent War of NW PA.
I grew up in northwest PA where the chipmunk is the region’s mascot. You see, it is woodsy where my people are. There are miles and miles of trees and not a stoplight or fast food restaurant to be found. Critters sort of run the show there. When I was growing up, we had a bit of a problem with squirrels in the house. My parents used extreme prejudice in the removal of over 30 in one year…inside the house…in their bed, in the bathroom, the living room…everywhere in the house.
So folks in the area live a sort of uneasy coexistence with rodents. Everyone has squirrel problems and war is declared regularly. Actually, they are more like regional outbreaks and minor skirmishes, but tell that to the people on the front lines. Anyhow, most rational people know that they should be cautious as they go to sleep at night. The squirrels are relentless and merciless.
Anyhow, my Grandpa, the pacifist, sought to end the chaos of war in the area so he extended the olive branch to a local chipmunk, a local tribal leader and the spokes-rodent in the area. Slowly and patiently, he enticed the chipmunk closer and closer with sunflower seeds. In time, he was able to feed Edgar Snyder, the chipmunk out of his hand. He named the chipmunk Edgar Snyder after the locally-famous ambulance chaser who had really annoying ads on tv.
Anyhow, Edgar and Grandpa struck up quite a friendship and a relationship based on respect and trust. Edgar would eat from friendly people’s hands. Once in your hand, Edgar could be moved around by gently lifting his tail and shifting his backside. As long as the sunflower seeds lasted, he was happy to stick around.
I was fortunate enough to witness this beautiful thing they had together first hand…literally. I fed Edgar and asked him to send my best regards to his rodent friends. In time, it was apparent that my Grandpa had broken the rodent wars of NW PA. The truce lasted for some time and prosperity returned to the land!