“Stef, it’s Carmine,” I yelled out to my one-foot-out-the-bathroom-door, blowdrying child. She walked toward the steps and looked through the tall, thin window on the right side of the front door. Carmine was totally still, deep in thought.
While Stef gawked, I sprinted back to my office to get “Clicky” and take a photo. Carmine is never around long. Like Howard Hughes in the 70s or Dick Cheney today, recent photos of Carmine are tough to come by. This is my best shot, taken through the glare on this sunny summer’s day.
We live in the exurbs. It’s a countrified area with Jepps Brook babbling no more than a hundred yards away and all sorts of critters running around day and night. We had a red fox walk down our driveway as dusk set in just last Sunday. I often see deer, rabbits, raccoons and moles (ugh) on my way home from work.
In this home, all chipmunks are named Carmine. I don’t know how that happened. It sounds very “Steffiesque.”
When, around my birthday, chipmunks mysteriously stopped showing up on our trips up the mountain, Helaine wondered, “Where’s Carmine?” Does he have a next-of-kin we can check with?
I’m sure there’s some reason I should be upset seeing chipmunks brazenly climb my front stairs. Right now it’s just nice seeing Carmine. I’m sure he looks more cuddly and friendly than he really is.