“Hey, Dad,” Chipper Chipmunk lay on his back, watching the clouds puff past. “Can we go swimming tomorrow?”
Mr. Chipmunk and Chipper were sprawled against the trunk of their home tree, high up near the tippy-top. At Chipper’s words he grinned as only a chipmunk can grin, “Crazy boy. What be you thinkin’?”
“Well, how about if we fly up through the clouds? I wonder what they look like from above.” A chirpy chipmunk laugh was the only answer from his dad.
Chipper had lolled in the foliage long enough, so he scampered down the big oak trunk to find his friends.
Dapple Deer was nestled under a fern leaf at the bottom of the tree all curled up with her head resting on her tummy.
“Dapple, does your daddy fly or swim?” Chipper perched on his toes and wiggled his nose so close to Dapple’s that they almost touched.
Dapple’s whiskers twitched but she stayed very still. “Sometimes he swims, but he would rather run like a shooting star and leap high over brush and fences. He can’t fly but he can still go faster than any other animal in these woods. He is the most amazing daddy ever!”
They listened to the forest sounds together for a few more minutes, but Chipper couldn’t be still for long. “See you later!”
He decided to see how fast he could run. Chipper hurried and scurried all the way to the pond.
Dilly Duck was sunning herself on a rock and waddled over to greet Chipper.
“The sun is so sizzling and the water is so frigid and I got tired of catching bugs and Mommy was getting grumpy and the other ducklings are so bossy and I was taking a snooze…” Chipper tried to catch his breath as Dilly used hers up.
She stopped to breathe so he quickly quizzed her, “Dilly, what makes your daddy special?”
She flopped her wings and hopped in silly circles around Chipper. “He can fly so high and dive so deep and be under water so long and quack so beautifully and swim so gracefully…” Dilly was out of breath again. She stopped circling and squatted beside him. Chipper was glad. He was feeling a bit dizzy.
A noisy quacking interrupted them, and Dilly dithered again. “Need to go, need to go! Daddy is giving us a flying lesson.”
Chipper watched as she flapped, hopped, and waddled her way over to the pond, and then speedily swam to join her family.
He turned to go but spied Bucky Beaver on his way from the woods pulling a big branch behind him. Chipper scuttled over to catch a ride on the branch. This was a game they often played together since Bucky was beaver-strong and Chipper was as light as a clump of leaves.
“Your dad is a super swimmer, Bucky. But do you ever wish he could fly?” He had hardly settled on the branch when the words tumbled out of his mouth.
“Hi, Chipper.” Bucky had to put the branch down to talk and now Chipper was the one who tumbled. Right down on top of a dandelion. He sneezed and they giggled together.
“Of course I don’t wish he could fly Chipper. That would be silly to see a beaver flying!” Bucky laughed so hard that he tumbled over and rolled in the green meadow grass.
“Hello, Chipper. What’s so funny?” Mr. Beaver dropped the sapling he was dragging to smile at the boys.
He laughed heartily when he heard the crazy question, but then he looked right into Chipper’s acorn-brown eyes.
“God gave each of us our own special… specialness!” They all snickered at the fun word. “Your dad has the most amazing ability to tuck things into his cheeks. I wish I could stuff this stubborn tree into my cheeks instead of having to drag it all the way home.” The boys hooted at the thought of Mr. Beaver with a tree stuffed in his cheeks.
“You both have such perky personalities and I always enjoy having you around. Your dad can make me smile even when I am at my grumpiest, and that’s an extra special ability.”
Chipper remembered how much fun Dad made the hard work of storing away seeds and nuts for the winter. In fact, everything was fun with his dad. He was pretty amazing after all!
“I think I’ll go hang out with my dad.”
Mr. Beaver winked at him.”Good idea.”
And Chipper scampered home.
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