Sunday, May 10, 2009

Adventures as a Vermin Killer

They're everywhere-insects and animals that invoke a feeling of distaste. Some, on sight, like that glossy black cockroach you really tried to avoid stepping on because the feeling of *crunch/splat* under your thin flip flop is worse that knowing it is alive and scuttling the streets. For the other ones, think rabbits. And squirrels. I shall try to keep my comments on little bushy-tailed specialty nut-eating squirrel-demons to a minimum. (Janitor, stuff your heart out)

The little cotton-tail was sooo cute, bouncing its little self through our side field driveway area. I encouraged the dog to chase them only to watch them scamper back to the brier. Aww! Next day, the sawzall wouldn't turn on when connected by extension cord to the house. Not that I particularly wanted to cut kindling, but, the mystery of the thing had more allure than trying to pass off a "Um, Dad, the sawzall is broken, and so, I guess I can't....well...SAW". I discovered the extension cord had been chewed through by 2 very cute-but-now-absent cotton-tailed bunnies.

Gophers have never been misfiled in the"so cute" category probably because they spend their time trying not to be seen at all except by earthworms and other gophers.

So, there I am, doing some gardening work, and saw those promising fresh mounds. I would tackle this. The hoses come out, holes are plugged, water is turned on, my brother comes out to observe the occasion. After a good 15 min of excitement and expectations, the furry little head pops out of the last dry hole.

Ummm. Now what? We have our gopher, but my faith we would get this far has been lacking.

When my mother had found a gopher when I was a toddler, by father had charged in and beat the thing over the head with a handy piece of firewood. None such around me though, and the critter is starting to make tracks. "Trista! Grab that bucket, we'll trap the bugger!" I yell, and grab a short-handled, square ended shovel. I'm not sure what I had planned to do with it when I picked it up-maybe scoop it into the bucket? Oh yeah. Drown it-that was the plan!

The gopher is still running, so I whack it with the shovel to make it stop. Tristan, not realizing he would actually be needed to take part in the execution, dithered. "The bucket!" I holler enthusiastically, and enthusiastically alternating in trying to scoop it up and whacking it to make it stop moving.

Then we no longer needed the bucket.

I had scooped the gopher in half.

I 'm not quite sure how it happened. But it was dead, so maybe it doesn't matter.

After moving to a less rural area a few years back, I thought these were things of the past. I had forgotten that when I visit home, the inevitable "coincidence" will happen.

Case in Point:

*phone rings*
"Hey...we're driving down the driveway, and there's a dead skunk trapped under the bottom hot wire, shorting it out. Can you get it out?"

What I'm sure she meant to say was pry it out, because when I fetched my stick, my camera (yes. oh yes.) and my little bro who had the misfortune to be around again, pry was exactly the word. And trust me, electrified and scorched bloating skunk is not the best way to start one's day.


Heads up.

I am considering letting you start yours with just such a picture someday. After all, that's what cameras are for, oi?

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