Sunday, March 13, 2011
Greasy, grimy gopher guts. Why did we used to sing this on the playground and where did it come from? Well apparently it was a folk song sung by children in the USA and has a place in history at the Smithsonian. I thought it was made up by some farmer that had enough of the pest. Nevertheless it was going through my head today.
License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that's all she wrote.
Today was officially the first day of working on our property, we irrigated. No sooner did the water start to flow than we realized we had a terrible gopher problem. We sprung several leaks due to the extensive underground critter tunnels. Unfortunately we lost many gallons of precious water as it went where it wasn't supposed to go. So needless to say, gopher extermination otherwise known as Operation Kill the Buggers has begun - starting today.
Don't get me wrong. I was a very strict vegetarian for over 10 years due to the fact I don't believe (or didn't believe) in killing animals. Here's the thing. This is my land. This is where my kids will play, and our food will grow. If it comes between choosing a disease ridden mole and my kids, I am going to choose the kids (although some-days I bet the mole has more manners) that being beside the point, I don't want to kill but I will. (Well I won't actually kill one, that would be the job of Gary or anyone else but me)
I have devised a plan. First I will pray them off. Yes pray. Why not? God can move animals, he caused a giant fish to swallow Jonah so he can make a gopher family leave my little homestead. If that doesn't do the trick we will try trapping the buggers and then releasing them into the wild. ( I am pretty sure this won't work although the image of me gently releasing them into the wilderness wearing a long flowing dress and flowers in my hair seems appealing.) In the end I regret to say we have to kill them. I plan on using my Rat Terrier dog, perhaps a snake (we would have to catch a wild Gopher snake, that being in and of itself a blog post worth posting) We can use irrigation and flood the suckers or bomb them with fire crackers or feed them Juicy Fruit gum or smoke them out or even dry ice them out. The possibilities are endless as is the amount of work. Today was marked by killing the first one. A poor little soul who lost its way and met it's maker. I am not going to say who or how delivered the blow because we are not proud. Every creature was once a baby and when you imagine the little gopher as a baby they just don't seem so pesky. It had to be done and while I don't condone it I am not going to cry a river either. So with that said, the kids had a blast running in the dirty water just as I did when I was a kid. Mason got burned to a crisp, which also marks the first day of sunblock for us.
So because this blog is an archive of stories for my kids I feel the need to post this gopher related story.
It was a lazy summer day, circa 1980's, I know this because we were watching Fantasy Island and it wasn't on TV land nor was it a rerun. Somewhere between scenes we heard the sound of gushing water, much like a giant toilet being flushed. Suddenly the closet door flew open and a torrent of water flowed into our house. There was a tube that ran underground, designed to cool air from outside that led into the living room closet. A gopher had broken the berm that was used to keep the water from entering this tube from the outside and there you have it. Our basement was flooded. We hopped and screamed trying to unplug things before water got to it. My dad nearly had a heart attack trying to fix the berm outside, grabbing his chest and falling down into the mud. Not a great moment for me because I having just been trained in CPR ran inside the house to call 911 leaving my three younger sisters who didn't know the first thing about CPR to handle my poor dad. Good thing it wasn't a real heart attack. Hey I never said I was good with emergencies.
Well a few days later when we got the basement carpet out and my parents were back to sleeping in their room, that naughty gopher attacked my dad. He had been flushed in through the pipe during the whole debauchery and lets just say, that was the last time he messed with my dad.
That is my story and I am sticking to it.