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It’s official: Brits are pussies


I miss chipmunks. I did a lot of day-hiking around Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the old stone farm walls are alive with the little chirping, fur-headed bastards. If you sit very still and make clucking noises, their curiosity gets the better of them and they’ll come out to see what you’re up to.

Not because clucking noises make sense to chipmunks; they come out to see what the hell is the matter with you, lady?

A woman in a shop today was telling us about an article she just read: a new and dangerous invasive species has been spotted in the UK. Yup. Chipmunks. Siberian chipmunks, bought as pets in France and escaped into the wild. They’re coming through the Channel Tunnel.

Now, I’ll give them this: chipmunks can carry Lyme and rabies, two diseases I have spent considerable energy trying not to get a dose of and was ever so grateful to get away from. So, okay, this isn’t good news news, even to a sentimental, rat-lovin’ weasel. But

“They look cuddly and harmless, and this makes them particularly dangerous. If startled, they can give a nasty nip, especially when cornered.”

??? I mean, c’mon. Chipmunks.

She gave me the newspaper, which goes onto say that the latest sighting was on the Isle of Sheppey (East of London). A chipmunk got into somebody’s kitchen and was chowing down on the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes (yes, they specified).

And the family’s pets were left traumatised by the invader — which caused the latest in a series of ‘chipmunk alerts’ [chipmunk alerts!] issued after fears that a species from Siberia which carries diseases had reached these shores.

The creature left Bryan and Susan’s two cats shaking — and they and the family’s dog now can’t go into the garden.

Mum-of-four Susan, 44, from Minster, said: “It was terrifying. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Honestly! I know two pussycats and a certain beautiful fairy princess who need to cowboy up a little…

August 12, 2009 — 7:24 pm
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