Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

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Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.jpg
First edition cover
Author David Sedaris
Illustrator Ian Falconer
Cover artist Ian Falconer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Essay collection, Fiction
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publication date
September 28, 2010
Media type Print (hardcover), audiobook
Pages 176 pp (first edition, hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-316-03839-3
Preceded by When You Are Engulfed in Flames
Followed by Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (titled[clarification needed] Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary outside the United States) is a collection of animal-themed humorous short stories by memoirist and humorist David Sedaris. The collection was published in September 2010.

Sedaris did not give the animals names, using only such names as 'chipmunk' and 'squirrel.' Animals, he said, don't need description. Sedaris said in an October 2010 interview with The Washington Post, "If I wrote, 'Phillip and Amanda had been dating for two weeks when they ran out of things to talk about', I would have to give you a whole description. But, everyone knows what a squirrel and a chipmunk look like. So, I wrote it as, 'The squirrel and the chipmunk had been dating for two weeks when they ran out of things to talk about.'"

Sedaris was inspired after reading a book of stories from South African mythology about anthropomorphic animals. Believing he could do better with a modern twist, he wrote 25 stories over two years, with the aim to ensure a high quality book by cutting ten of the 25.[1]

Table of contents[edit]

  • "The Cat and the Baboon", a fable about gossip and the service industry. Read on This American Life Episode "That's Not What I Meant" °288 5/6/2005 [2]
  • "The Migrating Warblers"
  • "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk", previously published as "so a squirrel and a chipmunk walk into a bar". Fable about a squirrel, a chipmunk, and a love that could never be. Read on This American Life episode "Star-Crossed Love" °308, Aired February 20, 2006 [3]
  • "The Toad, The Turtle, and the Duck"
  • "The Motherless Bear", audio version read by Elaine Stritch
  • "The Mouse and the Snake"
  • "The Parenting Storks"
  • "The Faithful Setter"
  • "The Crow and the Lamb"
  • "The Sick Rat and the Healthy Rat", previously published as "The White Rat". Read on This American Life Episode "Crybabies" °415 on September 24, 2010[4]
  • "The Cow and the Turkey", barnyard animals decide to play Secret Santa. Read on This American Life episode "The This American Life Holiday Spectacular" °305 December 23, 2005 [5] and December 26, 2010.
  • "The Vigilant Rabbit". In 2010, Sedaris told various radio personalities, after traveling many cities on a book tour wearing a vest, an elderly TSA woman in an airport aggressively requested him to remove his vest, "I'm going to make you into a rabbit" he said.
  • "The Judicious Brown Chicken"
  • "The Parrot and the Potbellied Pig", Read on Episode 315 of This American Life on July 21, 2006[6]
  • "Hello Kitty", natural enemies meet in an Alcoholics Anonymous program in prison. Read on This American Life, episode "Cat and Mouse" °309 February 24, 2006[7]
  • "The Grieving Owl"


  1. ^ Sedaris, Jonn. Interview on The Daily Show. Comedy Central November 4th 2010.
  2. ^ [1] This American Life °288 5/6/2005
  3. ^ [2] This American Life °308 2/10/2006
  4. ^ [3] This American Life °415 9/24/2010
  5. ^ [4] This American Life °305 12/23/2005
  6. ^ [5] This American Life°315 7/21/2006
  7. ^ [6] This American Life °309 2/24/2006