There was nothing I could do. It was a lost cause. Though the peril was not my own, my heart went out to my fellow hiker, who watched in anguish as his morning breakfast was disrupted.
We were enjoying breakfast in a shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains along the Appalachian Trail; one which had chain-link fencing on the front. Rangers say it’s to keep the bears out and protect hikers. My view has long been that the shelters along the A.T. in the Smokies are the only place where they put the people in cages and the animals roam free. In this case, an ambitious chipmunk had just stalked between the links of chain and glommed onto the plastic “honey bear” my backpacking friend was about to use to drizzle his morning pancakes.
Too late! The critter swiftly embraced the bottle with his tiny paws and dragged it through the gap in the chain-link. I laughed. My friend bolted out the door. The chipmunk dropped his lucre and scattered. Still too late; the chipmunk had gnawed the container top and my friend feared it was contaminated. Since there was only a little honey in the battered bottle he opted to put peanut butter and jelly on his pancakes instead. Likely a wise decision.
This was an isolated incident, fortunately. My companion said he did not like the idea of a “chipmunk apocalypse” one bit!