Oh no! How could this be? Tossing leaves and twigs around she searched for her food everywhere. Not a single nut was found. “All of my food has been stolen!” cried Sweet Pea.
All the other chipmunks came running to see what all the commotion was about. The woods were filled with chatter as the chipmunks discussed the theft.
“Did anyone see anyone in my home?” asked Sweet Pea. The only response was heads shaking no! Frustrated, Sweet Pea scampered down the tree and began to look for nuts. There were few to be found. There were only a handful and they looked so pitiful that the thoughts of eating them made her gag. The sunflower seeds that had been sprinkled on the ground were wet from the rain. Between the birds, squirrels and other critters feeding, there was little to be found. Most of the seeds had begun to sprout.
The sun was going down and Sweet Peas stomach growled. She ate the few sunflower seeds she had found. She took a deep breath as she swallowed the last seed. How was she going to survive the cold, she thought? Suddenly a rock hit her in the head!
Shaking her head she moaned. Rushing onto the tree limb outside her home she looked around. There was no one in sight. Dangling was a pouch made from a leaf; it had her name on it.
Inside was enough nuts for a huge meal. She dashed back inside and nibbled on part of the nuts. The rest she shoved beneath a layer of twigs and lay on top of them. “No one will get my food tonight!” she whispered.
The wind blew fiercely outside, the sound made Sweet Pea shiver. She dreaded scurrying around to look for food on such a cold morning. She had worked so hard to store food for winter and now, she had nothing! She climbed out onto the limb leading into her home. Amazingly, there hung another pouch with her name on it. Grabbing the pouch she rushed back inside the comfort of her home. She opened the pouch and it was filled with nuts, sunflower seeds and a beautiful faded flower. The flower was a pink Begonia. She loved begonias, what a special treat this was! But who was giving her all these wonderful gifts?
Day after day, enough food dangled from the tree limb. Occasionally a nut shell filled with water appeared at the entrance to her home. She seldom had to go out into the cold. But who was this kind creature that was leaving her these gifts? She had to know who her friend was. As darkness filled the sky, Sweet Pea climbed out of her home and up the tree. She shook with fear as she watched for the animal that might hurt her. Hour after hour she shivered in the cold darkness. Finally, she heard the sound of feet dashing across a limb below her. Gazing down, she saw a strange looking creature tying the pouch with her food to a limb. Pouncing downward, she landed in front of the creature. Two beady eyes looked back at her. “Woman, are you trying to give me a heart attack?” he said as he gulped.
“Scare you? Not at all, I just wanted to find out who the kind person was that was leaving me food. You’re not from around here, are you?” replied Sweet Pea.
“I was born here, a couple miles away. Why do you ask? Where’s my manners, I am Scruffy.”
“Well, Scruffy, you are the first gray chipmunk I have ever seen. Your fur is somewhat different also.” declared Sweet Pea.
“This is actually a poncho. It’s very warm. My family came from New Mexico. You might say my parents are wandering souls. I have siblings in just about every state. Do you mind if we finish our conversation inside your home, you look frozen!” declared Scruffy.
“That would be true! Please come inside and thank you for your generosity. I would have starved if it weren’t for your kindness,” whispered Sweet Pea.
The walls of the tree shielded them from the night wind but it was going to take some time for Sweet Pea to warm up. Scruffy lay against the wall and opened his poncho. “Come and let me wrap you in my poncho, soon you will be nice and toasty.”
Sweet Pea snuggled against Scruffys’ chest and he wrapped the coat around her. It was so warm and soft. Listening to Scruffys’ heartbeat, she fell asleep.
The sound of birds singing and chipmunks chattering filled the morning air. Sweet Pea squirmed from the poncho and peeked outside.
“I’ve been robbed!” cried one of the chipmunks.