level four event

Over the weekend we had a Level Four Steve Event and it was spectacular. I was standing there at the kitchen sink watching two Steves root around for snacks under the bird feeder when there was a rustle off to the left and a third Steve descended the trunk of the big maple tree and started his own snuffle quest. As I announced to the household that we were in the midst of a Level Three Event, also known as a Triple Blessing, a fourth Steve poked its precious snoot out from the underbrush on the extreme right perimeter of the bird feeder area. It proceeded with caution up the pole to the bird feeder and began stuffing its pouches.

All chipmunks are named Steve, by the way – I should remind newcomers of this.

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This was the actual best day of my life. This was OG Steve, who would happily bounce up to me and take peanuts and even let me pet him. RIP, OG Steve.

For context, it’s worth pointing out that Level Two Events, also known as Double Stevenings, are pretty common at our place. Triple Blessings are more rare but they do happen with some regularity. Level Four Events happen maybe twice or three times a summer, tops. We’ve had one Level Five Event in the three summers we’ve lived at this place and I nearly passed out from excitement at the time. Mark still doesn’t entirely believe that it actually happened but I saw it with my own eyes and no one can take that away from me.

The Level Four Event on Sunday was actually the second one we’ve seen this summer. The first one was a few weeks ago, just before what we’re sadly calling The Culling. Our next door neighbors have three cats, you see – two giant ginger tanks and a little smoke-grey ghost. The grey cat is an actual hunter – I’ve seen it launch out of the bushes to pluck song birds out of air in mid-flight. It also regularly catches field mice, voles, and even the occasional mole. The ginger cats are far less industrious but, perhaps out of some small inkling of shame about becoming the sedentary gits that they are, they will sometimes attempt to “hunt”. Since they’re lazy and don’t want to go very far, “hunting” means parking their fluffy arses in the middle of my lilies or daffodils and half napping while they wait for a Steve to pop up from a burrow and scurry past them. I kid you not, I have watched one of the ginger cats doze off while humped up next to a Steve-hole, “hunting”. And eight times out of ten, even when they’re wide awake, they miss the Steves. A couple weeks ago someone had a hot streak though, because we found two Steve corpses over the span of about seven days. Since all Steves look pretty much the same (it has taken me three years to be able to differentiate the adults from the juveniles, and I’m not even super sure that I’m right about that – it’s just that some of them are bigger and have more grey on their  hind ends and so I assume those are adults. Being an adult certainly makes my hind end feel grey, anyway), and since we had only seen four Steves prior to The Culling, we were certain that the population had been halved. To suddenly see four all at once again was pretty fantastic.

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A Steve stuffing his face in the feeder a week or so ago. The audio got lost when I converted the video to a GIF so you can’t hear my patented, based-on-science, soothing sing-songy murmur of “SteeeEEEEeeeeve” in the background. Also, this one won’t take snacks from me. YET.

 

6 thoughts on “level four event

  1. Well, this was a delight. As a new reader, I appreciate the Steve clarification. It was taking me on a roller coaster for a while and then you dropped that insight. 🙂 I thought I loved squirrels until you relayed this full-blown scientific study. Even without your patented sound, I can see you mean business. That chipmunk will be eating from your hands soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! Squirrels were actually my original aim when I put the bird feeder out (well, and birds, but they’re not as easy to tame), and I do love them, but there’s just something extra adorable about Steves. It may also have to do with the fact that, for as long as I’ve fed this fucking army of grey squirrels in my back yard, never ONCE has one of them let me get within about 10 feet of it. Fluffy little ingrates.

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  2. Pingback: Then There Was That Time……. I Woke Up With A Second Degree Burn – The Lockwood Echo

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