The Worried Chipmunk


In a sandy burrow by the fish pond in a big old garden, behind a big old house, Jasper the chipmunk was worried. It was autumn, and most of the animals were planning for a long, cold winter.

Jasper, like all chipmunks, would spend the winter asleep in a deep burrow-room, except for shuffling down the hallway to his store-room to eat. And what would he eat? All the food he saved up during autumn: Wild cherry pits from the orchard, corn kernels from the vegetable patch, beech-nuts stacked like firewood against the wall, sunflower seeds from the bird feeder, and pine-nuts from the spruce tree by the house.

But as Jasper looked at the piles of food, he thought about the long, cold winter, and the piles looked small, and he worried.

So the next day he went back to the vegetable patch, and spent the morning moving corn kernels into his store room, piling them all the way to the ceiling. Then he went back to the beech tree, chewed the spiky shells off three-dozen beech nuts, and stacked them neatly against the storeroom wall, all the way to the ceiling.

But that night, as Jasper looked at the piles of food, he thought about the long, cold winter, and the piles looked small, and he worried.

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