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This Time it’s Gophers

     Have you noticed all the gopher holes popping up around the county lately? If you don’t have any of your own, come on over. We’ll be glad to show you a few. Lots, actually.

     Used to be our dogs chased the gophers down at the bottom of the lot. Sadie and Radar got their noses covered with dry, dusty dirt – or mud. These days they’re chasing gophers in the great beyond and Coco, the spaniel who’s still with us, is far too elegant to chase gophers.

     Boy! I wish she would! Fourteen years we lived in this house and never had a gopher problem. Actually, it was kind’a fun, sitting on the back patio watching Sadie and Radar chasing gophers, their paws flying, noses burrowing into unseen tunnels. The gophers were so busy running away from them, they never knew there was a lush green lawn up above.

     Now they know. Boy, do they know! What used to be a lawn is now a scrubby patchwork of dirt mounds and dying grass with a few tufts of green. When the first brown mound popped up we figured the yard guy would take care of it.

     We figured wrong. And two days later a fresh mound appeared under the leaves of the geraniums at the edge of the lawn. We were pretty sure it was a gopher mound, but the geraniums stayed healthy so we kind of forgot about it.

     Sorry to say, we forgot about the first mound, too – except when we came home after work or dinner, but who’s going to chase gophers in the dark? So we were always going to do something about it, but the week passed and the gardener came and went again and now there were three mounds.

     Back where we used to live, we had gophers, too. But the guy who takes care of those things set traps – and got ’em. And then, on the advice of counsel, he carved a little wooden airplane and put it on a long stick and poked the stick into the ground. He made sure the propeller was off-balance, so the stick would vibrate and drive the gophers away. And it did.

     Don’t know how, but we forgot to take the airplane with us when we moved. After the third gopher hill appeared, the guy who does those things remembered that airplane and how well it worked. He decided to go buy one.

     While he was deciding, eight more gopher mounds popped up. Plus one on the side lawn, across the driveway. Stubborn gophers! They had to tunnel through a huge chunk of concrete to get to that one.

     By the time the guy who does those things found an airplane on a stick and bought it and stuck it in the ground, there were eighteen mounds on the lawn. Of course no one wants to sell a defective product, so the airplane propeller was perfect and it went ’round ’n ’round in perfect harmony while the gophers below scuttled ’round ’n ’round in perfect harmony.

     Well you’ll be happy to know there’s an end to this story. The airplane’s still propeller-ing in perfect harmony, but we borrowed one of those things you poke in the ground and press the lever to dispense little pellets that send the gophers off to the great beyond. The mounds aren’t popping up as rapidly and the guy who fixes things gets to start every day with a fresh round of gophering. You might say he’s hoping for a hole in one – or would that be one in a hole?

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