“You are trying to tell me that the reason we have a small flood in our basement is that we have chipmunk problems?” Mom has this amazing ability to lift up one eyebrow when she’s really upset. She doesn’t even have to raise her voice. She just stands in front of me, arms folded, that one eyebrow up, and waits for an answer.
“Well, yeah.” I shuffled onto the other foot, and decided to act like I knew exactly what I was doing.
“Go on.” She wasn’t buying my act, I could tell.
“Okay, well you know how we have those holes in the flower bed?”
“I just figured you’d been digging around back there.”
“No, Mom! I swear it wasn’t me. I would never dig in your flower bed!”
“Of course you wouldn’t. You’d just flood our basement.” She could be so melodramatic sometimes.
“Mom, I’m trying to explain. Okay, so I wanted to find out what was making those holes in your flower bed.”
“So, I got the hose out and ran water down into the hole until it popped up.”
“Until the chipmunk popped up?”
“That’s right! It was pretty cool, too. I mean, I had to let the water run a loooong time. The hole went really deep and I must have had to flood a super long tunnel, because it took forever. And then, all of a sudden, this wet little thing swims up to the top of the hole, and it looked really mad, too!”
“I think I know how it feels.”
“What? Oh, yeah, right. Well, um, so there it was, all wet and shaking and, well, mad. So, I felt bad about flooding its little home. I stuck it in a box for a while and looked all over the yard for another hole I could put it in. Before I found another one of its holes, I thought maybe it was hungry, so I threw some birdseed in the box. You know, just so he’d have something to eat to maybe take the edge off.”
Mom looked genuinely concerned all of a sudden. “What?! You picked it up? Did it bite you?”
“No, I didn’t pick it up, I swear. I just put the box down on top of it and then slid something under the box so it would be okay.”
Mom was obviously relieved, but that eyebrow of hers went back up. “And then?”
“Well, all of its holes in the flower bed were kind of wet and flooded, so I figured I needed to let it out in another part of the yard.”
“Where’d you set it free?”
“In the garden.” By the look on her face, I could tell this was NOT the answer she had hoped for.
“In the garden? Great. And, what happened to the hose during all this time?”
“Um, that’s where I made my one mistake. I forgot to turn it off.”
“You forgot to turn the water off all that time. So, the reason we have a flooded basement is because . . . “
“We have chipmunk problems! See, now you understand!”