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Dead Gopher

I thought gopher holes were bad enough, but a dead gopher in the flower bed is pretty nasty.  It’d be great news if it were the only gopher I’ve been fighting, but I’ve been fighting a losing battle with gophers for about two years running, and I know there’s a lot more out there than just this one.

I’ve spent a lot of years maintaining the landscaping around this historical home.  The place is now run as a museum, and there are a few caretakers, but I’m the only one who tends to the yard, the gardens and the flower beds.  I’ve taken a lot of pride in making sure the place looks pristine from the outside, making sure everything looks just perfect when a tour bus rolls up or some nice family from a few states over stop by during their road trip.  That’s why I got so mad when I showed up for work one day and discovered gopher holes all over the side yard.  Big mounds of fresh dirt were like scars on the deep green grass I had so carefully tended.  Going over to investigate, sure enough, there were little plugs of grass and roots in the holes, a sure sign some gopher’s been tunneling down there and throwing the dirt up around the gopher holes.

Mad as heck, I thought I could take care of a little gopher problem.  I didn’t want it turning into a big gopher problem.  I knew they’d do more than mess up the landscaping view.  They were bound to get into the vegetable garden sometime or destroy some of the well-established trees along the drive.  They might uproot the sprinkler system I installed or chew water lines or underground cables.  No, I knew I had to stop the gophers.

So, I’ve been trying everything possible, but I’m still finding fresh gopher holes all over the landscaping.  One morning, some of the tourists spotted a skunk digging frantically at the ground like a dog, tearing up the grass even further.  It was on the hunt for a gopher.  Part of me was rooting for the skunk, and part of me was just mad that gophers had now brought skunks onto the property.

Earlier this morning, I walked by one of the flower beds, and reached down casually to pull up a couple of weeds with my bare hands.  I wasn’t paying too much attention, so when my hand closed around something furry instead of a weed, you can imagine my surprise.  I jumped back, and I’d like to think I didn’t yelp, and looked down at the ground.  Sure enough, dead gopher.  Bloated, maggoty, nasty dead gopher.  And I’d touched it with my bare hands.  Not to mention, there were a bunch of black flies swarming around the flower bed I so carefully maintained.  First order of business was to scrub and sanitize my hand until I stopped shuddering.  Next, get someone who does nothing but get rid of gophers and other such animals for a living.  I’m tired of fighting them off by myself.  It’s time to call in the big guns.  They can fix the gopher holes and remove the dead gopher while they’re at it.  I can go back to happily tending flower gardens, pruning trees and keeping the lawn green.

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