Meet Stripes:

Stripes was a wild chipmunk that lived outside of my house for a year. We were pals.

Before Stripes, there was Chip:

But back to Stripes, I liked her more:

One day I saw a chipmunk outside of my front door and so naturally I ran inside, grabbed some almonds, and starting throwing them at the chipmunk. Every morning thereafter I brought more nuts to throw when he was there, and left them next to my front door when he was not.

As I fed him I would say “Chip-chip-chip-chip-chip…” and so I think he knew his name. And only a week after I first spotted Chip I fed him from my hand.

(Note that there’s a risk of acquiring rabies if you get bit.)

I continued to feed Chip daily whenever I saw him and leave walnuts by my front door when he wasn’t around.

At some point around this point, I believe another chipmunk replaced Chip, Stripes. Stripes moved differently and was more skittish at first.

But before I could get to know her for long, winter came. Northeastern chipmunks don’t necessarily hibernate, but they do sleep a lot. I would leave nuts out for her during this time and when she grabbed them she would leave her footprints in the snow.

After the weather warmed and Stripes became more active, she had babies! She had two litters that spring.

I also tried new activities with Stripes. Feeding her from a spoon was one of my favorites— and if I lifted the spoon high enough while she was eating, she would pull herself onto the spoon, and I would have a chipmunk on a spoon!

I also experimented with ladders and a makeshift swings to varying success.

2022-04-06 update: Someone took inspiration!