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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