Chapter 4: The Deal
The Three Tails led the chipmunks to a beautiful garden. Large leafy heads of lettuce grew alongside big bushes of beans.
Squash was just starting to sprout and carrots were peeking out of the ground.
“Well?” said Pudgy.
Leo tore his gaze away from the garden and narrowed his eyes. “What’s in it for you if we leave the strawberries alone?”
“Only more strawberries for us,” said Pipsqueak.
“There’s plenty in this garden for us to share,” said Pudgy.
Gomer yawned. “And if you don’t share, we can always send the dog after you.”
Pudgy and Pipsqueak stared at Gomer, shocked. Never had spoken with such calm certainty.
Leo scoffed. “The dog? It’d get you first.”
Gomer just smiled. A smaller chipmunk raced to Leo and whispered in his ear. “They’re friends. The dog and those three.”
Leo’s eyes widened and he squeaked. “Er...I don’t think that will be necessary.”
Pipsqueak scurried forward. “Do we have a deal?”
The chipmunks nodded their heads in unison.
“So...what’s the secret?” asked Leo.
Pipsqueak could barely contain her grin. “Gomer, now you can tell them.”
Gomer dashed over to the gate and lifted a small flap hidden in the weeds. “It’s easy. Just lift this door and you can go right in.” He shimmied under the fence.
Leo grumbled. “That was a dirty trick.”
Pudgy smiled. “A deal’s a deal.”
Leo huffed and swarmed the garden with the rest of his scurry.
The Three Tails headed back to the strawberry patch to have a celebratory snack. But as they made their way home, a dark shadow covered the ground in front of them.
Gomer looked up to the sky. “HAWK!” He squealed, ducking for cover under the thorny rose bushes.
They watched in horror as the hawk swooped down and grabbed two chipmunks, one in each talon.
Previously published on A Pinch of Homestead