Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Pepper and the Chipmunk


You don’t expect to see a chipmunk (otherwise known as a “ground squirrel”) 8 feet up a tree trunk. It would clearly rather be anywhere else on the planet. It’s not sure what to do next.

Pepper, on the other hand, was quite sure what she’d like to do next. (There is little doubt about why the chipmunk found itself up a tree.) Pep leapt up and barked loudly – enthusiastically – at the crunchy snack.

As fate would have it that warm afternoon, a frisbee nestled in the grass nearby. I launched it across the yard, wondering if it would distract Pep from her prey so close at hand. My ploy worked – she took off. The chipmunk presumably found its way back to terra firma as Pep and I enjoyed our favorite game.

That night, tucking Pep into her crate, I asked if she’d thought of the chipmunk again.

“No!” she exclaimed. “But I’m thinking of it now,” she added.

“I have never seen a chipmunk climb a tree,” I remarked, scratching behind her ears.

“Nor have I,” she said wistfully.

“You scared that poor creature half to death,” I observed, giving her a hard look.  

“No, I gave it a gift,” she countered.


“An enemy teaches us things we didn’t know we could do,” she said cheerfully. She settled into her favorite curled up position for sleeping – and I had something to think about. “Are enemies just as important as friends, Pep?” I finally asked in a whisper.  

“Of course not,” she replied softly, nuzzling my hand.

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Top image copyright: <a href=’’>dimjul / 123RF Stock Photo</a


  1. I love Pepper’s way of looking at things.

  2. I love the philosophy of Pepper.

  3. I love my Pepper installments.
    I wish you two would write a book together, and then I could have it on my shelf with your autographs and everything (since I would buy my copies for me and my friends at your reading and book signing at Parnassus!). Maybe, too, you would both come to that Book Festival downtown. Yep, this is a great idea.

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