As I approached the Mint patch, I saw someone scurry into the underbrush. Waiting for a moment, I saw Chipmunk emerge from the other side. She then ran across a patch of grass, stopped and turned to look back at me. Chipmunk was not panting and did not seem upset by our close encounter, she simply moved to a safe distance and stopped, to look back.
This got me thinking about the assumptions I make about my creature cousins and the prey/predator mythology that is so much a part of my culture. Does Chipmunk see me as a threat or a danger or as a participant in an interaction that she wants to engage in from a distance? Threats are to be eliminated and dangers are to be avoided, but Chipmunk doesn't seem to live her life doing either of these things. She does not eliminate threats by undermining my life, nor does she avoid danger by living far from me. She lives close to me, and our lives intersect because of our similarities. She was looking for some Mint this morning at the same time I was.
I know that she stopped at a distance that I could not cover quickly and looked back at me. But why?
Today, I will be holding onto the idea that I don't actually know the answer to that question. I will also be declining the invitation to think that I do.