Friday, September 14, 2012


At first it only happened at night and the vandalism was rather moderate so I overlooked it. As a matter of fact, I overlooked it too many times. I should have done something about it sooner but he was clever as well as sneaky and increased his destruction bit by bit so as not to trigger my indignation. Also, he skipped from one location to another so often that I sometimes didn’t notice the new vandalism for several days. I would often repair a spot and it would remain undamaged for so long that I would be lulled into thinking he wasn’t going to harass me anymore but then I would discover that he had sneaked in under the cover of darkness and vandalized somewhere else. This continued for months before I admitted to myself that it wasn’t going to stop unless I did something to stop it. But what could I do? I didn’t know what he looked like or where he went to hide from me. After some investigating I thought I had found his hiding place so I very craftily piped engine exhaust into the place and felt sure that I had removed him from my life. Wrong!! He retaliated by making a total mess of part of the flower garden.
Obviously, the battle was on but I was completely stymied. However the vandalism stopped so I had won the battle after all. Wrong again! He had merely moved his attacks to another area and I didn’t see the new vandalism for nearly a week. I went to work repairing the new damage while I pondered what to do next. He definitely knew he had the upper hand and became extremely bold. He began hitting multiple spots at night and even committing his acts of vandalism in broad daylight while I was napping or away from home. Now he had pushed me too far and I was angry. I vowed that I was going to stop him even if I had to kill him.
It was at this point that a neighbor stopped by and, upon seeing the widespread devastation, informed me that I was mistaken about it being a mole. He told me that it was a pocket gopher and he told me what he had been told about trapping pocket gophers. With renewed hope and determination I followed his directions with high hopes of celebrating a victory. Wrong once more! I soon had visions of a pocket gopher thumbing its nose at me as I tried various modifications of my neighbor’s suggestions.
In defeat and dejection I resorted to high tech help for a low tech problem. I went to the internet in search of help with pocket gopher control and found a video that gave detailed instructions for opening a pocket gopher’s burrow and setting a trap. The trap that was used appeared to be quite different than most traps but now my hopes were revived because I had been given a similar trap several years before but hadn’t known how to use it or what its purpose was. Now I had the answers to both questions so I followed the instructions from the video. When I uncovered the opening into the burrow a few hours later I found that the trap had worked perfectly and the pocket gopher had been killed humanely and instantly.
No doubt my grandfather would have been thoroughly disgusted to know that his grandson could be so ignorant that he would have to call for help to deal with such a small problem as a pocket gopher. Would he have resorted to killing? I think the answer would be a definite yes. Would he have had a dog that would dig one out and kill it? I don’t know. I would like to ask him but I can’t.

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