The Fox, The Grapes, & The Chipmunk: A Fable.

foxandgrapesOne hot day a Fox was walking in the woods and spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine. They looked so sweet and cool he ran and leapt but fell far short of the grapes. He leapt again and came a little closer but was still short. Then he tried to scramble up the trunk but fell backwards.

“Stupid grapes,” he said aloud. “They’re probably sour anyway.”

A Chipmunk sitting in the grape vine overheard this and said, “O! Sir Fox! These grapes are sweet and refreshing, I promise you!”

The Fox looked thoughtful. “How can I believe you when I can’t taste the grapes for myself?”

“If you like I shall chew the stem so they fall and you may enjoy them.”

“I should like that very much, Chipmunk, but if these grapes are so good why do you not keep them for yourself?”

The Chipmunk patted its very round belly. “As you can see I have stuffed myself on grapes already. These won’t last so I don’t mind sharing.” And with that he ran along the vine and chewed through the stem. The grapes fell right at the Fox’s feet. He took one and chewed it delicately, savoring the sweetness.

“You are right, Chipmunk, these grapes are indeed delicious. Come down that I may thank you for your kindness.”

The Chipmunk climbed down the grape arbor. When he was close enough the Fox snapped him up in his jaws and ate him.

Crunching down on his tiny bones and chewing through his fat belly the Fox said, “Indeed these grapes are very sweet and have made the flesh of the Chipmunk that much tastier.”

Moral of the story: Does anyone know how to keep chipmunks from chewing up the wires under your car? My wife and I have spent thousands of dollars repairing the damage the little bastards cause.

15 Comments

  1. Sandra

    I have no advice and I’m sorry for your predicament but only you could turn a bummer situation and turn it into a horrifying children’s fable.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s a gift. And it comes from decades of pent-up frustration with the original fable. We’re taught that the Fox has a lousy attitude but he learns to accept that some things are beyond his reach and moves on. We should all be like the Fox!

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Sweet.

    Reply
  3. Halfa1000Miles

    Ha! Love it. We actually had the same-ish issue. Small things kept going out in my car. One day the windshield cleaner wouldn’t spray out. The next day something else went out. When I took it to the mechanic, he said wires were chewed through. There were also chicken wing bones under the hood. We blamed squirrels.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It probably was squirrels. Apparently some time in the ’90’s car manufacturers started using soy-based plastics that are probably environmentally better but also really appealing to rodents.
      Also I once saw a squirrel eating an entire fried chicken wing. In a hospital courtyard.

      Reply
  4. Chuck Baudelaire

    The obvious answer is to get a fox to guard your car.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There are foxes in the neighborhood but the dogs seem to scare them away. We’ve also tried fox urine. Did you know you can buy that stuff by the bottle? It does nothing to keep the chipmunks away but the dogs find it fascinating.

      Reply
  5. Gina W.

    So I Googled “What animals eat chipmunks?” so I could try to help you with an informed answer. One of the options was “snakes”. Have you considered keeping a pet snake permanently attached to your car at all times? The cage would be attached permanently, not the snake, because I don’t even know how you’d do that. Glue gun? But I digress. Perhaps you could mount the cage on the front of the hood so it was the largest and most bad-ass hood ornament ever made. You’re welcome!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That would be an incredible hood ornament but I’d feel sorry for a snake left out there all the time. And it wouldn’t live long in this weather. And we already have snakes. Every once in a while my neighbor calls me over to catch a snake in her yard. Why aren’t those snakes doing their job and eating the chipmunks? Probably because they’re garter snakes and too small to eat chipmunks.

      Reply
  6. mydangblog

    Live trap. Full of peanut butter–and maybe grapes. Then drive them to Canada. I always love a twist ending…

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      My wife caught a squirrel in a live trap. With peanut butter. She drove it to a nearby wooded area and let it go. Others moved in and filled the gap it left, kind of like hipsters moving to Detroit, but without the ridiculous beards.
      The annoying thing is I can’t figure out what chipmunks eat that would make a trap appealing to them. Based on the holes in the yard I think it’s dirt.

      Reply
  7. Paden

    Try putting cayenne pepper on the wires.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s a really good idea–cayenne pepper is great for keeping chipmunks and squirrels out of the bird feeder. Unfortunately some of the wires are way up underneath the car which makes them tough to get to. And I’m afraid it might ignite something.

      Reply
  8. M. Firpi

    They’re rodents, so they don’t eat any of that, they’re just gnawing because their teeth grow out of proportion, so gnawing is the only way to keep their growth at bay. My hamster used to gnaw at the wiring of the cage and now it makes sense. Don’t know what to say, but consult a body shop and see if there’s some kind of cover to put over those areas.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Apparently newer cars use a soy-based plastic so while they may not eat it the stuff may be tastier than old fashioned plastic. But yes, they will gnaw on anything. So far no one’s found a solution. If someone does they’ll make a fortune. In the meantime body shops are making a fortune fixing the damage.

      Reply

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