Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Illustration Friday - Sacrifice



I live in a rural area with many small country roads. Often, while driving on a particularly long, straight stretch of road with no other cars in sight, a chipmunk will jump out of the bushes and dive under the front wheels of my car. About one time in ten I hear a heart-sinking little thump as he goes on to chipmunk heaven. (Sorry, Chippy!)

But why, when there hasn't been a car past in hours (possibly days) do they jump out right in front of my car? One might hypothesize that it's because the noise of the car startles them. But the animals around here are so accustomed to the sounds of civilization this seems unlikely to me. The only remaining, logical explanation is that it's some sort of a sacrificial rodent ritual. Could this little chippy be ensuring a good harvest of acorns for the rest of the chipmunk community? I like to think so.

And then again, maybe I'm just a little woozy from the heat and having trouble thinking of something for this week's Illustration Friday topic!

48 comments:

Chickengirl said...

Its hilarious that the chipmunks are made to sacrifice themselves onto the road. I love your wacky concepts and stories.

Pickledog said...

Hehe.. funny illo. "You are the chosen one little 'monk." Poor little chippers.

michael dailey said...

lol almost reminds me of that commerical where the squirrles hi 5 each other after 1 runs ourt in front of a car to make it swerve, but this is a lil more fo r keeps.

Dan said...

roadkill is a sad thing to me, but I enjoy your whimsical take on it!

Naru said...

wonderful idea.
I love this.

Geninne said...

Oh chippies!!! Don't!!!
This is so cute Jenn, and tragic at the same time...such a clever idea :-)
And an amazing style...you know I love your art :-)

claudine hellmuth said...

poor chimpmunks! makes me sad. but I love your wonderful illo! the one with the headdress is the best!

trophiogrande said...

cute! well, maybe not for the chipmunks.

Tamsin Ainslie said...

That is a great illo! What a great little story... and the chipmonk with the headdress!! love it

Diane Duda said...

woozy or not...this is great!

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

What a great illustration, and a great story to go with it. I'm SURE you're right. The snse of perspective is great, the textures are great, everything really comes together! Rock on.

Franfou said...

thats very funny ! well done !

Alina Chau said...

HA ! HA !! Wicked idea, poor thing!! Great illo!

mishka said...

Oh that's just brilliant! One of the funniest things I've seen in a while. And of course I also love your execution (pardon pun) and the acorn. Around here we have "suicidal squirrels".

cocos said...

This is great. I love the expression on the chipmunks faces.

Angela said...

Maybe it's a hazing ritual with...um, lots of failures? I like that the mother is covering her child's eyes.
Really cute!

Neil Wallace said...

This is without a doubt the funniest thing I've ever seen. You're killing me here! I'm laughing so hard I can't draw now. I just noticed the relatives (probably parents) in the background and that started me up again. My sides hurt.
Neil

rachel stoleru said...

ha! funny tale, very sweet illo. i'm sure it's true, by the way.

flossy-p said...

HAHAHA, your illo tells the story so well. No words needed.

Zara said...

Wonderful illustration, great characters!

OwlBoy said...

lol

this one made me laugh out loud for reals ;)

Great!

-OwlBoy

lil kim said...

LOL- that's great! maybe they are distant cousins of lemmings or something.

aynaku said...

great illo and funny story...I like your style!

irisz said...

haha excellent!!

Holli said...

This is awesome!!

J. E. Morris said...

Thanks everyone! It's good to know there are other people out there with a twisted sense of humor - not just me!

Sarah said...

Hee hee hee... that's so cool. Such a tragedy in miniature.

bill zeman said...

love it - the expressions throughout are perfect

QweySpiral said...

I have often wondered the same thing, I watch squirrels cross the street safely on telephone lines but then suddenly dart out into traffic. I love the expressions on their faces and I really like the way you rendered their little bodies. nice work

Sweet Pea said...

This is great Jenn, and so funny! Love their little headdresses :)

Sweet Pea said...

Sorry Jenn, I meant I love THE headdress and all of their expressions! :)

Cindy said...

This is definitely one of my favorites this week! Love the expressions on the chipmunks' faces.

Courtney said...

brillant!

Rick Lovell said...

That's a hoot! Love the parents off to the side trying to console each other. Who knew that being a chipmunk could be so traumatic?

sebastien said...

great illo!!

Jeannette said...

funny!

smoen said...

Great adaptation of life and concept for the word. I love the perspective and use of color!

matt said...

That explains a lot. Great illustration!

wynlen said...

What a fun idea! The chipmunks looks so fun and cute - and I feel sorry for them.

Anette
www.wynlen.no

justinpatrickparpan said...

This ones a riot. Great work man.

Tulipland said...

sorry for chipmunks but you have a great idea and illo :)

stacey m said...

this is hilarious and so true!! i think it must be some twisted rite of passage or sacrifice for the little guys! excellent illo!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

If Massachusetts heat makes you woozy, feel free to come to Texas! Don't you just LOVE anthropomorphism?!!

georg said...

Clever and creative - expressive and funny - I like it!

Tiger Mouse said...

Oh! I hope that chipmonk makes it! I've only seen a chipmonk once (when I visited the US) and he was a sweet little fellow...just sat watching me eat lunch...he mustn't have been chosen for the car diving expedition that week...

Ginger*:)* said...

You are exactly right! It is the way of the rodent. Also the skunk, squirrel, racoon and possum. They have a society that Dan Brown will surely expose sooner or later. Great image Jennifer! You have a wonderful inner child!

Anonymous said...
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Jim Jarrett said...

Jenn... I'm fascinated by your illustrations-and commentary! Your talent has grown and grown, and it sounds like it still really thrills you to create. I'm also pleased to see the little bits of macabre humor still coming through even though you are posing as a children's book writer and illustrator. (grin) Cheers!