Feeding the Enemy

animals food cups peanuts chipmunks eating_wallpaperswa.com_95


We knew he’d been living  in the front yard for a while.

What we didn’t know was that he was munching on the tomatoes, leaving them on the vine.

Then, he got sloppy.

He left seed drippings around the outside of the pots.

Busted. In broad daylight.

Like most of us who grew up with Alvin and those adorable cartoon chipmunks, I was always delighted to see them. Until now.

He was eating them green. By the time we caught him, 10-12 tomatoes were ruined.

We had just come to terms with the rabbits and squirrels in our yard.

But this one was bold. We caught him mid-meal.

We tried blocking the entrance to his abode. He just dug out another hole.

Maybe we could devise a trap, and relocate him to the woods ?

And then, a simple suggestion.

“Maybe they are just hungry…try feeding them something, like peanuts in the shell ? “

It worked. The peanuts rapidly disappeared from a grove of evergreens, and the tomato pilfering ceased.

Such a simple, non-violet approach.

I wish we had thought of it before I picked a few dozen green tomatoes, to ripen indoors, just in case.

There’s always a new lesson to be learned. We’ll know better next year.

This entry was posted in Family, Food, Gardening, Nature, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

110 Responses to Feeding the Enemy

  1. George says:

    Those critters…….:)

  2. Erika Kind says:

    Oh how cute. I am glad you found a way t live with that little guy. We had one like this below our stairs of our front door when we lived in the states. Such cuties!

  3. Elyse says:

    Maybe Alvin will even sing for you!

  4. lisakunk says:

    Brilliance is a wonderful thing. Our squirrels are big fans of our stale pecans I had by the bagful. So glad they didn’t go to waste.

  5. Proof positive that with just wee bit of kindness and compromise, we can all get along. 😀

  6. Val Boyko says:

    What a great idea Van!! Luckily our “Eddy the chipmunk” only nibble around greenery. But if he ventures into new territory I will take your approach 😊

  7. Love it! Brilliant solution.

  8. M. L. Kappa says:

    He’s too cute! Great idea. And you can always fry the green tomatoes!

  9. Problem solved to mutual benefit. I like it. I am still at the stage of adoring having chipmunks in the garden even though I suspect they are responsible for digging up bulbs. I also love it when deer wander through the garden even though most people hate the destruction they cause. Of course, I am not much of a gardener so perhaps fauna is my thing more than flora.

  10. spearfruit says:

    They are cute Van, but can be destructive! Glad you solved the problem. Happy day my friend! 🙂

  11. Running Elk says:

    Reblogged this on Shamanic Paths and commented:
    I’m sure there is a massive lesson in here for humanity. Can’t quite put my finger on it… but hopefully some world leader somewhere might read it. They are much smarter than me, and might be able to figure it out… 😉

  12. AmyRose🌹 says:

    It’s a constant learning curve for me a well, what with the deer, raccoons, hornets (stealing hummer food), rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, cats (yep those too) …. have I left anyone out? So far the chipmunks have been no problem and I hope to keep it that way. I had a few burrowing under my main Rose garden but seeing they didn’t hurt anything I left them alone. Cute post, Van! 🙂 ❤

  13. Brilliant. And so thoughtful on your end. 🙂

  14. Nurse Kelly says:

    Haha, Van! Great idea! Ours is still out there… definitely prefer peanuts to bubble gum! lol

    • I didn’t know about the bubble gum ?? ☺

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        You mean you don’t remember every single comment out of the thousands of comments on your blog?! Come on, Van! lol
        I’m sorry – remember the post you did on the ground hogs? I mentioned in a comment on that post something an old-timer told me recently on how to get rid of animals that can do damage to your property such as ground hogs and chipmunks… he recommended giving them bubble gum… you can guess the rest. Not something I’m planning on doing!

      • I completely forgot about the bubble gum, Kelly. Must be a bit of heat stroke ??? ☺ Thanks for the reminder. Have a great day. Be careful out there. 💛 💙 💜

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        Haha! Thanks, Van. xoxo

  15. It’s funny how human nature’s first response is typically an offensive one rather than searching for solutions that satisfy all parties. In health, we seek to “kill” germs before they attack us when in reality, a healthy body provided with adequate nutrition and lifestyle will usually maintain a symbiotic relationship with them.

    I like your thinking and am glad for the little fellow you were smart enough to discover an alternative option for him!

  16. Sounds like a win/ win solution. 😊

  17. What a wonderful switch in perspective that led to the mutually beneficial solution for you, the tomatoes, and Alvin! There’s a lovely lesson in there 🙂

  18. alienorajt says:

    I love this. Very touching and also, as others have said, a great lesson for humanity.

  19. Ahdad says:

    I also do stupid things when i’m hungry, like devouring a pack of donuts.

  20. Brilliant idea. Excellent pic

  21. Annika Perry says:

    Glad you found a solution to living in harmony. We have a friendly squirrel and after replacing the bird feeder with a squirrel proof one, he know happily picks from the ground whilst the birds get their resources!😀

  22. Never too old to learn something new!

  23. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

  24. Lady G says:

    Now that was ingenious!
    There’s room enough for all of us if we think about it long and hard enough!
    As you said, next year you’ll know better 🙂
    I guess I am just a diehard animal lover! Chipmunks are just too cute!
    LOVE it!

  25. Brilliant solution!! And so “at one with nature”-esk… For some reason, your story gives me a bit more hope for humanity than I had 5 minutes ago! 🙂

  26. Simplest solutions are usually the best.

  27. Joyful2bee says:

    I love your attitude!! You may have a new friend there! Good for you, compassion reigns!!

  28. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Van has had a pirate in the garden, pilfering where he shouldn’t but an elegant solution was found.. head over and read the rest of the post.. lovely.

  29. Mandy Smith says:

    This is amazing, Van. Back in the 80’s I had a beautiful garden, everything on the cusp of ripening, and suddenly bites were being taken out of all of my big green tomatoes! Never could find the culprit and always blamed ‘possums. Now that I think about it, our yard had lots of squirrels! I would never have thought….Brilliant idea to put out the peanuts 😀

  30. floridaborne says:

    Tried keeping the squirrels full so they would stay out of our pear trees. It didn’t work. Not even half-grown, the pears were littering the ground! They ate what we provided and then accosted the pear trees anyway. They’d take a bite and throw them on the ground, or they tossed them at each other.

    Next year, they get nothing.

  31. joey says:

    That’s how I do. I feed the critters out front by the bird feeder, and they leave my garden alone MOSTLY. We cannot grow cabbage, coleus, or lettuce, the bunnies simply do not care. I also add pet fur and marigolds, and that helps some. Now, if I could convince the squirrels to only eat the apples at the top of the trees…

    • The rabbits got the lettuce early, but it was not a variety that we liked anyway…so I let them have it. I was more protective of those tomatoes. So far, the peanuts are doing the job. ☺ I wish we had apple trees, I think I’d share.

  32. lbeth1950 says:

    One year the foxes ate all our sweet corn. I just let them have it.

  33. What a lovely surprise. I get so excited when I see new wildlife visiting our house. My gramps you sit under a shade tree and crack pecans for hours at a time. He had a squirrel eating pecans out of his hand in no time. Granny even feed it but was afraid it would bite her. It was so cool to see him one with nature.

  34. Thank you for the cute story – not so cute if they are eating your tomatoes green though… I love the non-violent solution. Reblogged.

  35. cindy knoke says:

    Yep! Works every time and my husband uses china bowls too. Now he will become your friend. Just hope a rattler doesn’t come to dine on your new friend! That is what happened to Peter Rabbit.

  36. So loved that your offerings worked Van .. Nothing I dislike more than a tomatoe thief .. 🙂

  37. Oh my! I chuckled as I read this but I so love your approach. A beautiful solution.

  38. Deb says:

    Oh that’s wonderful. They are so adorable yet can ruin your garden as he was!! How very clever of you!! I’m so glad you found a simple solution. I feed peanuts to squirrels at lunch every day they love them, sadly I can tell when it’s a new crew of squirrels as they are timid. Once they get to know me and the routine they will come right up to me, when they stop doing that I know it’s a new squirrel. I don’t think about where the others might be… 😉

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