In honor of this weekend’s woodchuck capture, I am pleased to reprint the story of Luther, copied from last year’s CSA newsletter:
Of Cabbages and Kings: The Story of Luther the Woodchuck
Howdy! My name is Luther, and I’m a woodchuck. There’s nothing too special about me. I’m brown and furry, a bit on the plump side (more about that later), and I’ve been told I have a nice smile. Until very recently, I lived here in Poland, but now, after a series of frightening and surreal events, I’m a city ‘chuck. This is my story.
It all began innocently enough. Over the course of the summer months, I’d noticed the human folk around here (I’ll call them Farmer Guy and Farmer Gal) doing quite a bit of work…using a tractor, planting things, etc. I’ve never had a close relationship with humans before, but as the plants they were putting in grew and grew, I simply couldn’t believe it. They were planting delicious stuff! And apparently, it was all for me and my friends! What nice people! Best of all was an entire two rows of cabbage. Cabbage! I love the stuff! I could eat it all night, and actually, I was doing just that for quite a stretch there.
One night, I sauntered into the cabbage bed to eat my fill and discovered a strange silver box. I’m fairly wary of new things and kept my distance, but I could smell something wonderful inside: apples! Sure enough, there were some apples inside of this box, way in the back. Why not have a little apple appetizer before the cabbage feast, I thought to myself as I walked into the box. Just as I got to the apples, though, there was a bang behind me. Trapped! It was a cage! I tried to claw and bang my way out, but it was no use. I was stuck, and I settled down for a long night. My appetite was completely gone, as you might imagine.
The next morning, Farmer Guy came over and checked me out. I was scared of him and clicked my teeth, but there wasn’t anything I could do as he picked up the cage and carried it and me over by their big white house. Farmer Guy and Farmer Gal stood looking at me, talking to me in funny voices, and talking to themselves. I kept hearing the word “gun”, like maybe they needed a “gun”, or something…I’m only guessing because I don’t speak English, only Woodchuck and a few words of Skunk. They eventually wandered off, and I was left to while away the day in the sun.
The day was long and hot. A couple of cats kept wandering over to check me out. One was skinny and looked like a skunk. He came right up and sniffed at me. I clicked my teeth at him. The other cat was orange and big and has a serious weight issue. He was big but not very brave…he wouldn’t come very close to my cage. The farmers would wander by, too, and see how I was doing. Their girl worker and her mom stopped to talk to me and gave me a carrot. Later, Farmer Gal gave me a carrot, too. I appreciated the food but was still really scared and confused. What would they do with me? Would I be stuck in a cage for the rest of my days?
Soon, I had my answer! Late in the day, Farmer Guy picked me up again and loaded my cage into his car. Before long, we were driving along. I can’t even express how strange it was for me, a simple woodchuck, to be in a moving car. I felt dizzy and confused, and worst of all, Farmer Guy had the music cranked up and was singing along. Normally, I love Neil Young but not with Farmer Guy yodeling along and trying to hit high notes he had no business even attempting.
At one point, I glanced out the window and saw a sign that said “Auburn”. A little later, the car stopped in the side lot of a place called “Best Buy”. “Best Buy”? Was I being sold to a store? Not exactly, but this was clearly my stop. Farmer Guy pulled my cage out of the car, set it down, and opened the door. I was thoroughly confused and tried to claw my way out of the back of the cage. Farmer Guy had to tilt the cage up to send me the message that the other end was open. He said “run free!” and I did, scampering out of the cage and across the asphalt to a dirt lot next door. This was all so confusing! Where the hell was I? I stopped and tried to get my bearings while Farmer Guy continued to taunt me from over by his car. Suddenly, a crow swooped down at me angrily, then again, then again. He obviously didn’t want me around. Farmer Guy was gone by this point (apparently, to make a “best buy”) so I made another dash towards some grass nearby. I realized that my new life was beginning…
Now some time has passed, and I’ve accepted my fate. I guess if you eat too much of somebody’s cabbage, you just might unexpectedly find yourself in a whole new place and a whole new set of circumstances. I’m doing just fine, though. Auburn seems nice, and I’ve actually befriended some of the folks at “Best Buy”. They’ve invited me to join the Geek Squad there, so if you folks need any computer help, just come on by and ask for me, Luther the Woodchuck. I might be able to swing you a deal on printer cartridges or an iPod, too (especially if you bring me some cabbage). Peace out!