We don’t want the dead chipmunk to eat our food

Ainara Del Valle @ Paper Darts/

Chris Bachelder explores irony, literature, and the mechanisms of jokes @ The Believer.
One day in August I went to campus to make some copies and retrieve a book from my office. My three-year-old daughter came with me as my “helper.” I had packed her a muffin and some milk, and I had promised her we would have a picnic when I finished what I had to do. After she helped me by pushing all the buttons in the elevator and spinning around fast in my swivel chair, we left the building, and I began to look for a good place for our picnic. I spotted a shady bench in a small courtyard, and I pointed the way. As we approached, however, I noticed, directly in front of the bench, a dead chipmunk splayed beneath a cloud of flies.U.S.!: Songs and Stories“Honey,” I said, putting my hand on her shoulder, “let’s look for another place.” I know by now I can’t shield or distract my children from all unpleasant things, but if I had the choice, I would rather not picnic by a dead animal and answer the inevitable barrage of questions about the chipmunk’s condition.read more