It began under the gravel. A mound or two. Then we went away for the weekend and the gopher moved in – to the rich squash bed. It had a screen under the newly constructed, raised bed; so the gopher would have jumped in. Palden and I went out to pick some greens. A kale plant had been separated from its roots. Mounds everywhere. Uh-Oh.  I had gone to Ace hardware two days before, and purchased traps. I watched some videos on You-tube. One guy showed how easy it was to pull out a “plug” of soil and reveal the 2 tunnels. How convenient. One for each gopher trap. He twisted them in a flourish and placed the trap with its jaws set in each hole, added peanut butter to pull them over to the traps and filled in the earth. Looked so easy.  Next day he caught 45 gophers. Sarah at the weekend farm party had suggested juicy-fruit gum as the bait. She said wear gloves or they will smell you on the traps and ignore them. OK, Sarah, here we go.

Setting the traps was like a metal mind-bender. Even for a tec-minded person with dexterity. Have you seen those traps? You have to practice, and the metal can easily can snap on your hand. In our family, I would be the one to volunteer to empty a trap if someone else would please set it. I asked Shabda to hurry, because this enormous head was delivering dirt from the hole with no concern for my presence. Or his. Eee-ooo!

Something about women and rodents. Primal instincts. As much of a pacifist, pro-any-life person as I may be, rodents and mosquitos demand quick action. I rushed into the house and grabbed Shabda’s large, impossible-for-me-to-string, bow and a couple of arrows. I knew he was accurate. Lets just take the sucker out.  It was either the gopher or the squash plants. Who knows how many rodent family menders would move in.

I wish I could say he raised the bow and shot the gopher. Clean kill. But it wasn’t that way. The gopher disappeared so we set the traps like the video said. Put in the gum. Went to bed.

I was up early and went out to look, stood nearly eye to eye with the gopher who was right by the trap. Yikes! I ran to get Shabda, the bow and some arrows. The gopher had been caught by just a leg because he was enormous. The trap was meant for smaller creatures. He needed to be put out of his misery. After a couple of tries, Shabda shot a bull’s eye (an unfortunate metaphor) right through the head and killed him instantly.

MY HERO! I carried the creature to the garbage can. Felt like about 3 lbs, at least. We have the pictures. I’m hoping to talk to my nephew-in-law, Christian. He is a policeman, and may have some better ideas of how to deal with the situation next time. You can see where I’m going with this. I Better stop and send out loving kindness to all. Meditate. Wish peaceful ness to all. <>  <>

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