Mishaps with Critters series, part 1: Chipwrecked

I swear I’m not making this up.

While squirrel hunting in high school, I inadvertently got a chipmunk*. My family doesn’t hunt for sport**, so since I killed it, I had to bring it back and figure out a use for the carcass. Chipmunks aren’t very tasty, so I put it in a Ziploc bag and tossed it in the freezer, where it was promptly forgotten.

When Mom found it a few days later, it was made very clear that (A) I’m a dumb ass; (B) calling it a “critter-sicle” does not make it acceptable; and (C) I had better dispose of it toot-sweet.

Most normally adjusted folks would toss the body in the garbage or a ditch, but you wouldn’t be reading this if that held true in my case. Instead, the plastic-encased rodent was put into a brown paper bag, which was then given to my biology teacher the next day. Told her if she needed and extra rodent for dissection, well, here you go. She laughed, took it into her office, and we went about our merry ways.

A few hours later there was a ruckus. I would describe the ruckus as “screaming.” A lot of students poked their heads out of classroom doors, some teachers were scurrying about, but it diffused quickly and mysteriously.

Soon after there was a call for me to report to the office. This, in itself, wasn’t shocking, but I had not done anything (recently) that would warrant a trip. Upon arrival, standing by the Principal was one PISSED OFF English teacher and the before-mentioned biology teacher, who was trying very hard not to laugh. Apparently, these two shared an office and the English teacher, who brought her lunch, had mistaken the bag of rodent for her noontime meal. She was in the teachers lounge when she reached into the bag, pulled out the deceased, and let out a scream while throwing it across the room, which caused, unsurprisingly, more screaming. Hence the ruckus.

Breaking into laughter at that point probably wasn’t the best move, but come on. Flying cirtter-cicle accompanied by screams of teachers? What 16-year-old doesn’t laugh at that? The thought of it STILL makes me chuckle.

So there I was, containing my laughter as the biology teacher told everyone that yes, I did bring the dead chipmunk to school, but then explained the reasoning and copped that she had put it in the office.  It took protests from both of us to convince everyone I had not done it as a prank.

I was dismissed with a summary “do not bring any animals, dead or alive, on school grounds,” which seems pretty obvious in retrospect.

Also in the Mishaps With Critters Series are stories about a woodchuck, feral chickens, being accused of stealing a dog, and a kidney stone belonging to a miniature schnauzer, but we’ll save those for another time.



* I say inadvertently because, at the time, I thought it was a squirrel. Little head peeked out from around a tree a middling distance away and I took the shot. Turns out it was a chipmunk. Damn good shot, though.

**Not entirely true. Yes, the primary function is for food, but folks have been known to let the smaller bucks go by in hopes of a larger one. But as far as squirrel hunting goes, I killed it, gotta use it somehow.

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