the chipalope's tale

Once upon a time when the Redwood forest here was still very young, buffalo still roamed while the deer, and antelope played. Something very confusing happened at Confusion Hill! Some might call it magic, others might call it a miracle, and still others would consider it a possible alien experiment with life forms here on Earth. No one knows if such a thing had ever happened before or since because there was no one around at the time to witness it!!

The tale that I've been told goes as follows. What had started out as a sunny spring day, wildflower blossoms bursting forth with all the beautiful colors of a rainbow and the sky a bright, bright blue. Then with the suddenness of a gunshot the day turned as dark as a ravens feather!

At that exact moment it happened that an antelope buck and his doe were grandly walking down the hill on the forest path while a fat and happy chipmunk and his mate were scampering up the same path. They were side by side at that precise instant when the world turned dark as midnight on a moonless night. The sound of thunder was deafening, lightning suddenly shattered the darkness, the wind roared as if in pain and the Earth trembled underfoot. For a nanosecond it seemed that time was frozen as all these conflicting and confused forces were focused on that very spot on the path where the antelope and the chipmunks were side by side.

That minuscule particle of time vanished as suddenly as it had happened. There was a bright sunshine again, the wind was soft and silent, the Earth was again firm underfoot, the birds sang as if just awakened and the wildflowers were as bright and beautiful as before of not more so.

On the forest path where once had been four separate living beings there was now something quite different. The four critters had become two!! Behold, there on the path was the very first CHIPALOPE pair ever!! Happy, soft, and furry, with large fluffy tails and perfect little sets of antlers these new critters scampered around upon the Earth. It was quite a sight I'm told as the CHIPALOPES ran here and there bumping into Redwood trees and other things as they tried to adjust to their new headgear. Finally dizzy and tired they sat down and surveyed the surrounding forest in an almost regal manner. They liked what they saw; you could tell by the way they wiggled their whiskers and the big smiles that spread across their fun loving furry faces. The male shook his antlers once more testing to make sure they were really firmly attached and set out up the hill.

When Chester the First, as he became known in time, made his way up the forest path he began to realize that he was a very unique critter and would have to behave in a wise and careful manner if he and his mate Rose were to survive in this world. He would only come out at night or very early in the morning from now on. He just somehow knew that they would have to become really elusive critters. He would find happiness coming out of his den in the early morning mist, shaking the dew off his antlers before scampering out to enjoy a bite to eat then diving back into the hidden den to contentedly snooze the day away.

This has been the life style of all CHIPALOPES since the time of Chester I and Rose. This is why they are to this day very rare and elusive critters. The hill which today is knows as Campbell Bros. Confusion Hill is the only place on Earth that I am aware of that is home to the CHIPALOPE!!!

Doug Campbell