The rodent war of NW PA

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!

12 thoughts on “The rodent war of NW PA

  1. I remember you talking about that before. That little chipmunk looks so cute and cuddly. I can’t believe it would let you pick it up. I image it could rip the end of your finger off it it wanted to.

  2. Dont forget the second one he had… If I remember corrrectly he gave 1 a hair cut to tell them apart.

  3. Ah. I love a happy ending.
    So. Have you named your little friend?
    I wish *our* rodents were cute, stripey and friendly.
    We get bad-a** rats with smug expressions, late hours and dirty habits.
    No truce here.

  4. When I was a kid your grandfather caught a chipmunk that had no tail because it got caught in a lawn mower. We kept it for some time until it was all healed up and ready to go. We let him out but he stayed around the filing station where we lived for a long time. He used to run in and out of the garage where dad was working on cars and motors for boats. He seemed to know that dad saved his life.

  5. Chipmunks are so cute! I wouldn’t want one in the house though.

    The only critters we have had in the house (except the ones that were supposed to be there!) were a bird that got confused, and a mole that our old kitty, Mocha, brought me because he loved me.
    His “gifts” were usually dead, but the mole was running around in circles. I put a pail over it and slid the tv guide under it & out it went. I was screaming the whole time.
    .-= Capri Kel´s last blog ..DQ’d =-.

  6. Loretta – he was super skittish but got better pretty quickly once we broke out the seeds…

    brother – that’s Grandpa indeed!

    Natalie – we don’t have too bad a problem with rats…I surely hope it stays that way! I mean, they exist but not in armies…

    Mom – also sounds like Grandpa!

    marcia – weren’t the commercials awful? I howled when I heard the chipmunk’s name!

    Capri Kel – gosh, our cats brought us stuff every single day. We kept a list for awhile and it was amazing! You shoulda had Butch take care of the critters!

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