It happened when two unfamiliar truck drivers came in the Mule Barn and took seats at the Round Table. Not that we wouldn’t have invited them to sit down, if they’d asked. Hey, we’re friendly guys.

  Usually we’re at the counter … you know … the Philosophy Counter. But this morning, due to nasty weather, the numbers of the world dilemma think tank experienced some overflow. But there were still two seats left at the Round Table until those truckers came in and flipped over their coffee mugs.

  We all exchanged names and then got down to business. Monkey business, of course. No one was shocked when Doc kicked it off.

   “Chipper’s gone to ground,” he said.

   “Hibernation, Doc?”

    “Yep. Curled right up there in his little bed and corked off. I slipped a little pillow under his head and covered him with a baby blanket. He didn’t even move or snore or anything.”

  We stole glances at the two newcomers to see if they were going to ask. They decided to ride it out a little longer and just wonder about Chipper, Doc’s imaginary squirrel.

   “Has he recovered from the kidnapping yet?” asked Dud.

   “Technically,” Doc said, “it was a blatant squirrel napping, complete with ransom. I was so glad to get him back unharmed, I’m afraid I almost overdosed the little guy with nuts.”

   “Hibernation’s a good thing for Chipper,” continued our local doctor. “Sure saves money on Squirrel Chow.”

   Those two new truckers will have something to chew over for the next hundred miles or so. We don’t charge for this, you know.

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