Beatrix Potter moments…

June 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

HM was signalling wildly to me from the pool in the shallow end as I stood in the kitchen, working at the sink, prepping potatoes for some salad.

What on earth did he want? I went to the French doors and poked my head out.

“A scoop! Something to scoop with!”

Right! I hightailed it to the laundry room, grabbed the dog food scoop and ran outdoors, handing it over, then standing at the pool’s edge as he lifted the top from the skimmer and scooped out a critter. Unrecognizable at first. A mole? A baby something?

A chipmunk!

The little fella hesitated, black as night in wet fur that made him look frail and vulnerable. Then he moved a few inches. Then he paused again. He wasn’t worried about HM, inches away from him in the pool. He wasn’t worried about me, about a foot away, stock still, staring.  Would he recover? Did we get to him soon enough?

He shivered violently. His eyes closed. He shook his head. Probably had water in those cute littl ears. (Yes, suddenly everything about this little critter was cute despite the fact that he nibbles at my herbs and digs into my sunflower pots.)

“What do you think…”

“Sssshhh…he’s ok. Don’t worry,” HM said. “Watch.”

Little Chipster moved onto the soft mulch just beyond the patio’s edge. More head shaking. More eye blinking as though he were going to fall asleep. Still, I worried. He’d been through hell, poor thing, scrabbling away in the skimmer, probably fighting to keep his head above the water where it goes into a whorl that pulls downward into the system. I felt nauseous, thinking about what he might have been thinking during his trauma. Thank goodness HM went into the pool, heard the Little Chip’s scritching sounds and well, you know the rest now.

Next, he gathered himself and moved another inch smack dab into the sunlight. He hunkered down into the mulch and stopped shivering. He opened his eyes. Still, he was not worried about us breaching his personal space. A few moments more and he sat up and began cleaning himself.

“Oh, good. OK. He’s gonna be OK.”  I got my camera.

He fell over once wtih his rigorous paw cleaning and shook the last of the water from his ears. He was now completely in Beatrix Potter so-cute-you-should-draw-me mode. Such relief.

“Safe from the owl now, you think?”

“Safe as ever,” HM replied.

And when we looked back at him, Little Chip was gone, the hedge rustling closed behind him.

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