How much can a woodchuck eat?

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How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I don’t know the answer to that, but I have always liked the way it sounds. If the question was how many new perennial shoots could a woodchuck eat, I can’t give you an exact number, but I can tell you it’s one heck of a lot.

I don’t know if the woodchuck that has deemed my perennial garden as his or her personal buffet is the same one from last year or not, but I really wish he or she would find a new restaurant.

Last year, my resident woodchuck spent all his or her time on the opposite side of my house from where this year’s rodent is feasting. I gave him or her the most original name of “Woody” and this year’s woodchuck seems to respond to that name a little.

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When I say responds I mean he or she stands up on hind legs and looks at me in defiance then resumes eating my bleeding heart plant.

If this is the same one from 2010 I really have no one to blame but myself because I sort of befriended the little bugger.

“Woody 2010” didn’t eat any of my plants and spent most of the time sitting on the steps to my side porch. I put up with him or her and even had many conversations with the critter, even if they were a bit one sided.

My woodchuck friend was very bold and very attentive coming within a few feet of where I was working. “Woody 2010” was so much more attentive than my husband when I would expound on everything from gardening to politics that I kind of liked having him or her around.

Every now and then a strange high-pitched sound would come from “Woody 2010” and I took that to be a response to one of my fascinating stories. All in all we got along quite well.

“Woody 2011” is an equal opportunity menace eating from my garden and my neighbor’s as well. This one doesn’t even show any interest in my fascinating stories and certainly doesn’t respond to anything I have to say.

I have to believe that this is not the same one from last year. “Woody 2010,” I think, found me to be interesting and liked being around me.

The same can’t be said for “Woody 2011.” I think I will be waging war with this year’s visitor all summer or be forced to get a Have-A-Heart trap and catch this little nuisance.

My son has offered to exterminate “Woody 2011” with his .22-caliber gun, but I do have a bleeding heart and will not allow such a drastic solution.

I’m sure I will come up with something. Woodchucks have a right to live too and the way I see it, if “Woody 2011” starts to show some interest in my fascinating stories I just might keep him or her around.

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