In the far northern part of New England there is a peaceful little village known as Frostbite, New Hampshire. In the winter little boys and girls enjoy winter games in the white glistening snow. When they get thirsty, all they have to do is reach down and gather a hand full of snow in there glove and eat it as the refreshing snow just melts into water. What a delicious taste! When spring comes green grass covers the ground and new leaves dress the trees. The chirping sounds of the birds and the squeaks of the squirrels and chipmunks looking for food after a long winter is a time for new beginnings. There are many animals being born and seeing the world for the first time. It is a beautiful time of life.
In Frostbite there is a white house with many windows and gray shudders. This beautiful little house has woods all around it. The woods are filled with maple, oak and white birch trees. Some are very big and tall while others are small and short. The ferns and mosses are scattered throughout the woods. All through the day you can hear and see the birds and animals going about their chores. They also take a lot of time to play. Oh what fun it is to watch them run, jump and chase each other through the woods.
Chippy is one of many chipmunks that lives in the woods. Chippy lives underground in the long shallow burrows with many connecting tunnels going to different rooms. There are rooms for eating, sleeping and nesting. Chipmunks like to eat nuts, seeds and fruits. They scamper from log to log and look a little nervous. Sometimes they sit up and look around to see what is happening around them. Chippy has beautiful tan fur with white, black and gray stripes on his back and a dark bushy tail. He is about six inches long and has whiskers on each side of his mouth.
Chippy is the adventurous member of his family. He has two brothers, two sisters and his mom and dad. His brothers and sisters always stay in the woods near home. Chippy likes to wander out of the woods near the woodpile which is close to the house. The woodpile is made up of logs for the fireplace.
One day he darted out from the woods to the woodpile. He sat up and looked around.
He smelled something really good. When he searched around two big logs at the
bottom of the pile he found a spoonful of peanuts. He ate a few. Boy, did they
Chippy liked going to the woodpile because there was always some peanuts waiting for him. He wasn't sure how the peanuts were getting to the woodpile. He knew it was a great snack that he could share with his family. Each day he would dart out of the woods and make a dash for the woodpile. Sometimes he would make several trips back and forth until it was all gone.
Little did he know that while he was running back and forth, he was being watched by a big orange cat with a long bushy tail. Meeny was the cat's name. He had been hiding under the deck by the house. Meeny was hiding in the shadows so Chippy would not see him. Chippy had never seen Meeny.
Meeny had a lot of experience catching mice in the woods. He was big for a cat and very quick. He loved catching mice. It was like a game for him. Once in awhile he would catch a squirrel and proudly bring his catch home to show his owner. Meeny had sharp claws that helped him climb up into trees. Even the birds were afraid when Meeny was around the area.
It was early morning and the grass was still a little wet from the dew. Chippy came scampering out of his burrow and headed for the wood pile. He didn't see two big eyes watching him as he ran to the woodpile. As Chippy was running to the woodpile, Meeny made his move to catch a chipmunk. Fortunately for Chippy, he beat Meeny to the woodpile. Chippy was able to hide in the logs so Meeny couldn't catch him. Chippy's heart was pounding away because Meeny was clawing at the logs trying to find his next meal. Chippy knew he would be safe hiding in between the logs.
Chippy carefully thought about how he could escape and return to his burrow. While he was hiding he found some peanuts in there usual spot. He filled his jaw with some peanuts and decided to make a run for the woods. He could still see Meeny sniffing and clawing the logs. Chippy went to the opposite side of the woodpile. When he felt the time was right, he made dash for the woods. When he got to the woods, he quickly turned back to see where Meeny was. Meeny was still sniffing and clawing away at the logs.
Chippy had out smarted that big orange cat. Now he could safely get back to his burrow with the peanuts. In the future he would keep his guard up for Meeny.
Chippy looked around very carefully because he didn't want to repeat his experience with Meeny again. That had been a scary situation. Feeling safe, Chippy darted out of the woods and towards the woodpile. Little did he know that Hank, the hawk, waiting high in the oak tree was also waiting for something to eat. With one powerful dive Hank was on his way to get a little chipmunk. Chippy was half way to the woodpile when he heard a strange sound coming closer. It had a "whoooosh" sound. He knew something was wrong but it was too late to turn back. So, he continued as fast as he could to the woodpile.
Chippy thought to himself that in another second he would be safe at the woodpile. Just as that thought flashed through his mind, he was being lifted into the sky. Hank had scooped up Chippy by his claws. Chippy knew he would have to fight for his life. He twisted and turned as hard as he could. Then Chippy with all his might bit Hank on the claw. Hank released Chippy because of the severe pain.
Chippy was falling free high above the trees. He thought if he could grab a branch on a tree that he would have a chance to make it. It would be much better than hitting the ground. As Chippy started to fall through the top of the tree, he was able grab hold of a small branch and hang on to it.
After catching his breath, he made his way down the tree and finally to the ground. That was the scariest adventure that he ever had. Fortunately, he wasn't too far from his burrow. He moved quickly through the underbrush. Chippy just wanted to get home where he would be safe and comfortable. When he finally got back to the burrow, he thought to himself that was enough adventure for one day. He felt very lucky to be home again. What a day!
As you know by now, Chippy has had some close encounters with Meeny the cat in the backyard and Hank the hawk. In both cases Chippy was smart and lucky enough to get away.
Chippy and his family were having dinner one evening. They were discussing why Chippy shouldn't go near the woodpile which was located close to the house. Chippy thought that the people that lived there had to be friendly because they were placing peanuts around the wood so he could easily find them. Of course, everyone in the family liked sharing the peanuts because they tasted so good. Mom and Dad told Chippy that he would have to be very careful if he was going to continue collecting the peanuts. They did not want anything bad to happen to Chippy. Chippy agreed that he would look and listen very carefully so that he would be safe.
That night while Chippy was sleeping, he had a dream that he would meet a friend
the next time he went to the woodpile. It was not a scary dream at all. It was
a good dream. He kept dreaming about a nice little boy with blond hair and a wonderful
smile. This little boy also laughed and sang all kinds of songs.
After breakfast, Chippy wanted to go visit the woodpile again. He quietly walked out of the ground and away from his underground home. When he got a little distance from the opening, he stopped to look and listen for any danger. He didn't sense any danger. So he quickly darted to the woodpile which was about 90 feet away from his home. This time he made it safe and sound to the woodpile.
He quickly found a big mound of peanuts hiding around the wood. It would take
him many trips back and forth to bring all the peanuts back to his home in the
ground. As he was thinking and munching the peanuts, he heard a door from the
back of the people's house open. His heart started pounding so hard that he thought
everyone could hear where he was hiding. As the door opened wider a little boy
with blond hair and a big smile walked out of the house. He saw me hiding in the
woodpile. The little boy walked a little closer. I was just about ready to run
back to the woods when the little boy said "Please don't be afraid Chippy,
I want to be your friend." "My name is Zak and I have
Zak told Chippy that he would stand guard and protect him if he wanted to carry the peanuts back to his home in the ground. That sounded like a good idea to Chippy. And so Chippy made several trips back and forth until all the peanuts were safe in his home. What a wonderful day and a new friendship.
A few days later, Chippy got up early in the morning. The sun was bright and the
Chippy rushed out of the burrow and stopped when he got to the surface. He sat
up and looked all around. Everything seemed safe as he sniffed the air for any
All of a sudden he heard the back door at the house open. His heart started to pound again. But this time Zak was calling for Chippy. "Chippy, where are you? Chippy it is Zak. Chippy where are you? Do you want to play?" Chippy was so glad it was Zak because he really did want to play.
Chippy started chirping so Zak could hear him. Zak walked over to the woodpile to meet Chippy. Zak didn't want to rush over to the woodpile because he didn't want to scare Chippy. As the two new friends greeted each other, you could tell they were happy to see one another. Zak asked Chippy if he could pick him up. Chippy was a little nervous but he said ok. Once Chippy was in Zak's hands he felt secure. Zak's hands were soft and warm. He really felt very comfortable. In fact he liked being carried around. Chippy thought this was a great way to get around.
Chippy and Zak were having such a good time together. Zak thought Chippy might like to see his room in the house. When he asked Chippy if he would like to see his room, Chippy thought about it for a minute. Chippy agreed to see Zak's room but only for a short time because he didn't want his parents to worry. Zak put Chippy in his front shirt pocket and walked into the house and up to the second floor. Chippy saw the carpet on the floor. It made Zak's footsteps very quiet.
When they got to Zak's room, Zak took Chippy out of his pocket and gently placed him on the soft carpeting. Chippy thought this was a real treat. As he looked around, he saw Zak's bed which seemed really far off the floor. Zak picked Chippy up and put him on the bed with pillows everywhere. Chippy could see all around. What a view. He saw many, many books in the bookshelf, a bright lamp sitting on a dresser and a big box of toys. Chippy felt comfortable in Zak's room. It was bright and quiet except for the birds singing outside. After playing together for awhile, Chippy thought he should be getting back to his home. So, Zak gently place Chippy back in his shirt pocket and down the stairs they went quietly so they wouldn't make noise to disturb Zak's mom who didn't know about Chippy yet. Zak took Chippy to the edge of the woods and lifted him out of his pocket. Chippy thanked Zak for taking him to his room. Just as Zak placed Chippy to the ground he reached into his pocket and pulled out some peanuts for Chippy. Chippy yelled back to Zak, " See you soon."
By now Chippy and Zak were becoming good friends. They enjoyed each other's company. Chippy like exploring Zak's room because it was so much fun. He always found something new and exciting. As for Zak, he like playing in the woods. He liked looking for salamanders. You could find them in wet places usually under some rocks. They were beautiful with a dark skin and orange spots. You had to be quick if you wanted to catch one because they could move fast around the leaves and rocks. Sometimes the larger ones were about three inches long. Zak was always careful when he handled them because he didn't want to harm them in any way.
Tomorrow Zak was expecting a visitor. His cousin, Perry, from Florida was coming
to stay for two whole weeks. Zak was so excited because he wanted to show Perry
all around Frostbite and especially the woods where all his animal friends lived
That night Zak had a difficult time sleeping because he was thinking about Perry and all the things he wanted to show him. They were going to have a great time together. Finally Zak fell into a deep sleep. The next sound he heard was the alarm clock ringing. Zak was sleeping so soundly that Mom had come into the room to turn off the alarm clock. Just then Dad walked into room to tell Zak they would be leaving in about 45 minutes to the airport. Zak quickly got washed and dressed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. As he entered the kitchen he could smell his favorite breakfast. Mom had prepared what Zak called eggies (scrambled eggs), a slice of challah , a glass of orange juice and a big glass of milk. He was going to be all set for the day or at least until lunch.
When they got to the airport, Perry's flight was right on time. Ten more minutes and they would be together. The terminal had glass windows all around so you could see the planes taking off and landing. Zak was so excited he could hardly stand it. Then a man's voice came over the loud speaker. Flight 749 from Ft. Lauderdale will be landing in one minute. That was Perry's flight. Just then Dad said, "Look Zak! It's Perry's plane landing. Zak started jumping up and down with excitement. The plane rolled up to the jetway which connected it to the terminal. People started entering the terminal from the jetway. After the eleventh person came out of the jetway, the next person to come out was Perry. Zak and Perry spotted each other about the same time. There were two big smiles and one big hug. There were two happy little boys. Zak was so busy talking to Perry on the ride back that he didn't even remember the return trip to Frostbite.
Zak brought Perry up to his room while Dad carried the suitcases upstairs. Mom started to prepare lunch because she knew everyone would be hungry even they all had a
big breakfast. Zak had a bunk bed in his room. He liked to sleep on the top bunk because he could see all around. So Perry got the bottom bunk. At least they would be roommates for awhile.
Chippy knew something different was going on in the house. He heard music and a lot of laughing coming from the house. When Chippy went to the woodpile, there were no peanuts to be found. He thought to himself that Zak must really be busy if he forgot to bring peanuts out to the woodpile. Oh well, Chippy would just have to settle for regular food that he could find in the woods. Chippy never had any trouble finding food in the woods, but the peanuts were a special treat.
The next morning after the sun had dried the dew from the grass, Chippy decided to hang out at the woodpile. He could hear voices and more laughter coming from the house. Just as Chippy was getting himself comfortable on top of the woodpile, the back door opened. Out came two boys running towards the woodpile. Chippy recognized Zak but he had never seen the other boy. Zak spotted Chippy sitting on top of the woodpile. Chippy knew everything would be fine as long as Zak was there. The boys came to sudden stop when they saw Chippy. Then Zak introduced Perry to Chippy. Perry kept starring at Chippy. He had never seen a chipmunk. Chippy didn't know what to think about Perry either because Perry was wearing a funny looking hat. The hat look like an elf hat with a long green feather attached to it.
Zak reach way down into his right pant pocket and pulled some peanuts out for Chippy. "Chippy I didn't forget about you." Zak then placed the peanuts in the hiding place by the logs. That made Chippy very happy.
Zak and Perry started to walk towards the woods. Nobody saw Hank the hawk watching everyone from a perch high in the oak tree. In a split second Hank dove down silently from the tree top and with his sharp claws snatched Perry's hat right off his head. All Perry felt was the wind from Hank's wings. He watched helplessly as Hank carried the feathered hat high into another oak tree. Hank must have thought that Perry had a bird on his head. Perry was in shock. He could not believe that a hawk came down from the tree and took his favorite hat.
After a short time, Hank realized he had made a mistake. That hat was no bird. So, Hank let go of the hat hoping it would fall to the ground. Unfortunately, it got stuck on a limb high in the tree. Hank squawked loudly and just flew away without offering any help. It was too dangerous for Zak to climb up into the tree so they would have to come up with another idea.
Perry ran inside the house and came out with a hand full of you know what. Peanuts for Chippy. Perry thanked Chippy for rescuing his hat. Chippy filled his jaw full of peanuts and took off for home. As the boys returned to the house you could hear Perry telling Zak that no one would believe this story.
Zak and Chippy were having a great time all summer long playing in the woods and sharing each others company. They had really become good friends. In all the activities that they had shared, Zak had never met the rest of Chippy's family.
One afternoon Zak was sitting on the deck reading one of his favorite dinosaur books. When he looked up, he saw Chippy sitting on top of the woodpile eating away at some peanuts. Zak put down his book and ran out to the woodpile to greet Chippy. Chippy asked Zak if he would help him carry some peanuts back to the burrow. Of course, Zak was always willing to help Chippy. Zak placed a handful of peanuts in his pocket so he wouldn't lose any on his walk through the woods to Chippy's burrow.
When they got to the opening of the burrow, Zak emptied his pocket and placed all the peanuts by the opening of the burrow. Chippy went into burrow to get help from his brothers and sisters so they could get all the peanuts to the food storage area.
When Chippy came back to the opening of the burrow, he brought his whole family with him. Zak had never seen so many chipmunks at once. They all came to thank Zak for being so generous in supplying them with peanuts all summer long. Chippy introduced his family to Zak for the first time ever. There were two sisters, Petunia and Daisy. The two brothers were Sliver and Thorn. Then there was Chippy's mom and dad. They all filled their jaws with peanuts and quickly disappeared back into the burrow.
came back out with Sliver and Thorn and they all went looking for salamanders.
With Zak protecting them, they didn't have to worry about Meeny or Hank.
By this time summer had slowly turned into fall. The colors of the leaves had turned into a beautiful mix of gold, red, and brown. There was a very certain freshness in the air. All Chippy's friends had almost completed their food gathering for the coming winter. The squirrels were busy burying acorns away so they could hopefully find them during the winter. They also would store the acorns in their nests high in the trees. The bears were busy eating and storing all the extra nourishment in their bodies so they would be ready for a long winter nap.
Chippy had a great summer playing and meeting new friends. But best of all, he
met Zak. Chippy and Zak had become the best of friends. Chippy could always count
With the cold weather coming, Chippy knew that he would not see Zak again until spring. It was the day before Thanksgivings when Zak brought out a bag of peanuts into the woods. He emptied the bag of peanuts near the opening to Chippy's burrow. Zak could hear them chirping down below. Zak yelled down to Chippy and his family to "Have a good Thanksgiving." When Chippy heards Zak voice, he came running up to the opening of the burrow to thank him for the treat of peanuts. Chippy's brothers and sisters all came up to help carry all the peanuts back down into the storage area of the burrow.
That night many of Zak's relatives had arrived for Thanksgiving. The clouds had darkened and the wind had started to howl. Zak and his family were safe and warm inside their home with the flames dancing over the logs in the fireplace while the warm air spread throughout the room. It had been a great day for everyone.
When Zak got up early on Thanksgiving Day, he looked out the window and everything was white. It had snowed all night and was still snowing. Zak was happy because he could go sledding. But, he was a little sad because he knew he wouldn't see Chippy until the spring. He was glad he had brought over a bag of peanuts for Chippy and his family. Chippy was happy and safe for the winter.
Happy Winter From Frostbite
This story was
written for Zakary