Was the Lion King really a Chipmunk?
Yesterday afternoon I witnessed something that you would ordinarily only see on a National Geographic nature special. Well, except on National Geographic it would have ended with the requisite circle of life meal.
It started with my dogs barking on the front deck. I could tell by their voices that it wasn’t a visiting dog or anyone else, besides my driveway alarm had not sounded to alert me of an approaching entity. After a few minutes with my boys not calming down, I ventured outside to see what had captured their attention.
They were both sitting close up against the gate that keeps them confined to the second story porch, but they were looking down along the front of the garage doors. I walked over to follow their gaze, and there about 30 feet away, sitting on a short rock wall in the garden alongside the driveway was a sizable black snake. Now my snake expertise is limited to, “Ahhh! Snake! Run!” I do know that we do not have any venomous black snakes in North Carolina. Still, all in all, a four-foot long snake sunning on the rocks less than ten feet from my garage door was not making me happy.
I watched with curiosity as the serpent lifted one of the rocks with its head and slithered down into what is obviously a known crevice deep within the stones. I kind of smiled that the last four inches of his tail did not follow him inside. As I considered whether I should ( eew, eew, eew) intervene with its chosen lair, I noticed higher up on the wall there was a very pissed off chipmunk.
The chipmunk, with his tail slapping his back in rhythmic warnings, climbed down the wall and stealthily crept in a wide circle up to the legless one’s hiding place. He positioned himself atop a rounded stone, a mere three inches from the serpent tail and looked like he was going to pounce upon the obviously more abled foe.
I really wanted to run and grab a camera, but I was sure that the absurd confrontation would not last long enough for me to fetch my zoom lens. I was seriously concerned that the snake’s head may have been curled around toward the opening and my furry rodent neighbor might end up as an Alvin Tartar entrée.
The bizarre, death defying dance of the chipmunk continued for more than ten minutes as he neared and then backed off from his death-wish. Eventually I guess he decided that the snake was not going to join in his suicidal game and he climbed back up the mountainside, stopping every few feet to see if his friend was following him.
This morning there was no sign of the snake, Alvin or any echoes of Rafiki’s lyrics (as written by Elton John), but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.