Me, chipmunks, and a startled trail walker

I am frequently disappointed at how unobservant people are, but one time it was really funny.

On this occasion I was dressed in buckskins (as usual) and wandering around while my son was at a Cub Scout event at a park just outside of town. I had gone a ways down a trail and sat down against a tree to watch a family of chipmunks play.

There was a mother and several youngsters living in a stump. The babies were exploring while the mother kept watch over them. When I had walked up and noticed them, the mother chirped a warning, and they all disappeared into the stump. After I had sat for a while, they all came back out. The babies were very curious about me and were soon crawling all over me while their mother had conniptions. I just sat there, still and quiet, letting them explore.

After some time the chipmunks and I heard someone coming down the trail. They all vanished back into the stump. Soon a woman came up the trail and as she approached, looking right at me, I said “Hi”.

She yelped and jumped a foot or so into the air. “I thought you were a statue!

I apologized for startling her, and she continued on down the trail.

Why there would be a statue in the dirt, in full color, in such a place made no sense to me. I think she just didn’t register me as human and her mind made up an excuse to explain it.

But I was accustomed to accidentally scaring people (and their dogs) if I let them see me in the woods. So I got to where I just never let them see me, unless I had a reason. It was, occasionally, hilarious.


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