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What Kind of Animal Is That?

on my daily walk around the state capitol of topeka, i saw a big brown furry animal just a few feet away from me headed toward a busy street. when he saw me he ducked into some bushes to contemplate his next move. everybody was looking at him. in the middle of downtown he was a surprising site. how did he get there? was he going to be able to get to safety? why don’t those people leave him alone?

so what kind of animal is that? i dunno. me neither. nope, don’t know said the passersby. then an old man parked in a pickup truck motioned me over and said "it’s a woodchuck." really? i’ve never seen one before (and apparently neither had any of the rest of this crowd). when i asked about the safety of the creature and if he could get away from the curious onlookers, the old man said he could do things a squirrel could do like a climb a tree. judging from the creature’s physiology, i rather doubted that he could climb a tree. and considering that he never tried to climb any of the trees on the capitol grounds, i’m guessing he couldn’t climb or couldn’t climb well.

contemplating the whole scene as i walked on, it occurred to me that the only reference point i had to this creature was the old tongue twister: how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? i got an immense amount of pleasure repeating it as i continued to walk. made me chuck chuckle.

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