When 13 year-old Nathan needed to make some extra cash one summer, he thought he could do yard work for the neighbors, having no idea that mole removal would become one of his chores. He knocked on the doors of his neighbors, explained that he was trying to earn some extra money, and asked if they would hire him to do some work around the house or yard.
Most of his neighbors were happy to do their own yard work, not really trusting the young boy to keep their lawns looking as good as they liked. But, the Johnsons took pity on him and said yes.
He showed up at the Johnson’s one Saturday morning, as previously planned, and they started him off with pulling some weeds from the garden. That went well, he was paid, and they set up a time for him to come back the following Saturday.
Mr. Johnson came out to talk with Nathan and give him his weekly yard chore. As he looked over the yard, Mr. Johnson became more and more agitated, kicking at little mounds of dirt. Finally, he said, “Nathan, if you are successful at mole removal, I’ll give you $100!”
Well, needless to say, other types of yardwork at five bucks an hour just seemed pointless. He had his task in front of him, and he’d figure it out one way or another.
Nathan searched online for ideas and suggestions. He tried making noisemakers and sticking them down the holes to drive the moles out. The moles stayed. He considered burning them out, as one video implied, but figured Mr. Johnson might not give him the hundred dollars if he caught his lawn on fire, or exploded a gas line, so he ruled that out. He tried to flush the moles out by flooding the holes with water. He poured oil down the holes in an effort to “stink them out.” Nothing worked.
One Saturday, he was out in the Johnson’s yard with a leaf blower, blowing the leaves into piles, when he passed one of the dreaded mole hills. He stopped, mind whirring. Could it possibly work? Naw. Well, it might be worth a try.
Sticking the end of the leaf blower in the hole, he laughed, imagining moles flying out of each hole high in the sky. Wouldn’t it be great if he could finally earn that promised hundred dollars and stop pulling weeds, sweeping sidewalks, and bagging leaves?
Unfortunately, real life doesn’t always work the way we think it should. Nathan earned his five dollars an hour that Saturday, and Mr. Johnson called a professional service for mole removal.