From: Jocelyn and Rob
We have been observing you for quite some time now. We see you across the street on our neighbor’s lawn. We’ve also seen you at various locations on our yard. But it wasn’t until a few days ago that our suspicions were finally confirmed that you are using our shed as your pied-a-terre. So, GOTCHA!
We KNEW that hole was exactly your size and your style:
When I pulled into the driveway the other day (that was me, Jocelyn) I saw you look back at me in a rather alarmed fashion then “bust a move” across our driveway, past the hydrangea bush, through our rock garden and finally squeeze yourself under the shed. Though I was frantically trying to fish my camera out of my bag and get it turned on in order to document this (to no avail), and also texting Rob simultaneously, I managed to keep my eyes trained on you, with fascination and extreme excitement, the whole time.
Okay, “bust a move” isn’t really the appropriate way to describe the way you moved, and this is actually one of the more urgent reasons why we are contacting you. What, pray tell, do you call your particular mode of transport? It’s not really walking, and not exactly crawling, though it is on all fours. It’s more of a waddle, and kind of a shimmy, except more lumbering. Until I hear back from you, I think I can best describe it as a “scooch.”
I hope you won’t be offended if I say that you seem slightly too heavy for your short little legs and yet somehow, by shifting your hind quarters side to side so vigorously you really do make it work – it’s truly impressive. Whatever you call it, it is entertaining indeed. I hope you won’t take further offense to the fact that you have given Rob and I many a good laugh trying to describe/imitate/honor this unique way that you get yourself from one place to another. For the record, we assume that you are laughing at us, too, and our attempts to figure out what’s going on around our yard. That scratching of the head thing we do? It’s not lice – it’s confusion.
This segues perfectly to our next question: those four holes located back in our wooded area, not too far from the shed…are those yours too?
We have not yet seen you enter or exit this series of four distinct holes, but a quick search on the internets indicated that this could very well be your country home. Again: impressive!
Perhaps we are being a little bit intrusive and somewhat nosey, but after all, we do pay the rather hefty taxes on this land. And we haven’t noticed you chipping in for these.
This leads us to one last question for you: do you prefer to be called a groundhog or a woodchuck? Because we find ourselves making reference to you more than we could have ever predicted back in our city dwelling days, and we’d like to get the nomenclature correct. We again consulted the internets and they tell us that you are one in the same. Please instruct: is this in fact the case and if so, we’re curious: just how much wood can you chuck? As you can see, we have a lot of stray wood around the property that could use a proper chucking, hint hint. (See passive aggressive mention of taxes above.)
Come to think of it, there’s something else you can do for us: see these super-cool mushrooms that just popped up on our property?
Can you do us a favor and not eat them or “scooch” across them, and ask your friends to refrain as well? Thanks a bunch.
Do you have any resident groundhogs/woodchucks? Or if you have any other ideas on what to call their way of “walking,” please share.
Thank you to Rob for his cute groundhog illustration at the top of this post.
And finally, if you are interested in learning more about the fine art of writing memos to critters who show up in your home and on your property (trust me, it is an extremely effective form of communication), please see Chapter 4 in The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness, available in paperback and on e-readers at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.