Thanks, Monica Hadsall, for this seed sentence! April 11, 2018
“When he answered the doorbell, there was only a chipmunk sitting on the front step, looking up at him.”
When he answered the doorbell, there was only a chipmunk sitting on the front step, looking up at him.
“Are you asking me something?”
“See anyone else around?”
“Uh, no. But then again, I’m not sure this is real. I’ve never talked with a chipmunk before. Didn’t know you could.”
“No! I came to the door because the doorbell rang!”
“You keep excusing yourself. Where ya goin’?”
“Look, it’s one thing to meet a talking chipmunk. Its quite another to meet one with a smart mouth like you’ve got.”
“You people like to think we’re all the same. Do you think we’re all adorably cute? Or dumb and irritating like Alvin and his gang?”
‘I certainly hope not. You’re not like them, are you?”
“There ya go again. Gnaw…like in “Nah”. It’s a joke, man!”
“I get it. Corny!”
“Well, corn would be okay, but we were kinda hoping for hazelnuts.”
“Kind of picky for a yard scavenger, aren’t you? Why hazelnuts?”
“Latest thing. Hazelnut coffee.”
“But chipmunks don’t drink coffee.”
“There’s that word again. Whatsitmean?”
“Oh, man, no wonder you guys fight each other all the time. You’re very confusing. Can we get back to talking about hazelnuts?”
“Okay. What’s this about coffee?”
“You throw out those coffee grounds onto your garden, right?”
“Well, we smell that fresh coffee perking, and the missus gets all excited. Pretty soon you come out and toss them over the garden. Next time a good rain comes along, it soaks some of that coffee down into our burrow, and we got coffee dripping from the ceiling. It’s okay – don’t panic. We like it, but just want hazelnuts to eat with the coffee. That too much to ask?”
“Maybe. Okay what the heck. Wait right here.”
On the way to the kitchen for hazelnuts, the man stepped into the bathroom to look in the mirror to be sure he still existed. Yep. So he gathered a handful of nuts and returned to the door. If the chipmunk was still there, he’d give it the nuts. If it wasn’t there, he’d make a good strong pot of coffee, drink it all, and get back into bed so he could wake up a second time and start the day again.
The chipmunk was still there.
“Hey, thanks, man.” He stuffed four of the nuts into his cheeks and rolled the rest toward the garden where his burrow awaited.
“Wunmrfing!” Pfffftttt! He spit out the nuts on the ground and frowned up at the man. “I SAID, one more thing!”
“What do you want now?”
“Can you plant some more tulips in the garden? Along the back fence?”
“But it’s June! I don’t plant tulips in the hot summer. I plant them in the fall when it cools down.”
“Aw, come on! It’s my birthday next week and tender tulip bulbs are my favorite!”
“So you’re the one whose been eating them! I’ll make you a deal. I’ll plant three now for your birthday if you’ll forgoe eating them in the fall. Deal?”
He tapped his paws together. “I’ll only eat half of the tulip bulbs this fall if you’ll put out some hazelnuts under the log by the back fence now and again. That’s the old log under the fir tree where the hawks can’t get us.”
“And you’ll run along by the fence when our granddaughter comes over so she can squeal with delight?”
He sighed. “Yeah, I guess. I hate being cute but it’s part of my gig.”
Picking up the four hazelnuts, he tossed them toward the garden, waved, and scampered off muttering to himself, “Geez but I hate having to entertain for snacks.”
The man closed the door and decided he needed that big pot of strong coffee after all. He poured a big cup and sat down to consider. Was he going mad or had he really conversed with a chipmunk?
The doorbell rang. Damn rodent probably wanted the fresh coffee grounds.
He sighed and emptied the coffee grounds into an old pan to dump on the garden. Then, shrugging his shoulders, he headed to the fridge for a carton of milk and poured it into a paper cup to take along. On second thought, he drank it and refilled the cup with cream. This wasn’t just any chipmunk and he knew where this conversation was going.
– Ellie Hadsall, April 12, 2018
From the author: “This story is part of my “Random Sentences; Random Stories” series. Individuals have contributed random sentences from which I write a short story. I never know what the sentence will evoke until I begin writing. The results are greatly varied and take me on adventures of insight. I hope you enjoy them!”
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