The mole and the shrew

It’s a Bank Holiday Monday in England. It’s August. It’s raining.

Hmmm, not inspiring looking out of the window on to a wet, sodden landscape under dismal grey skies.

I was planning to write this week’s blog about dementia again, how things are going with my dad and problems getting his medication right.

Somehow, it’s all just a little bit too grey today to think about.

So instead, a short tale about the mole and the shrew.

We have, in our garden, a persistent mole. Possibly persistent moles. Every time I mow the lawn, I have to first clear piles of earth the little blighter has dug up and left dotted around – hillocks of crumbly brown soil.

Sometimes I’m still trundling the mower back and forth, when a new mound appears, almost right beneath my feet. I’m sure that mole is down there laughing.

One of our neighbours has some kind of mole trap, and has offered to catch and despatch our tunnelling terrors.

Just because we’re bigger and have the technology to do so, does that give us the right to turf Mr Mole out of his home?

I feel he has as much claim to the patch of grass as we do.

I said: “No thanks.”

Then this week, I came across an even smaller creature – sharing our space. A little shrew.

I was clearing out the garage, and had just firmly blocked up a hole in the wall, where foam insulation beads are prone to escape and blow like a carpet of snow around the floor.

I became aware of a persistent scratching and on closer observation realised it was a living creature, trapped and frantic to get out.

A tiny nose poked through a minute gap, smaller than a pea. It was hemmed in on all sides by white foam balls, twitching, desperate for air.

It was like that scene in Witness when Harrison Ford opens the trap door on the corn mill, suffocating the baddy under tonnes of seed.

At first I thought it was a mouse, then realised the nose was too elongated and it must be a shrew. Either way, no place or cause for a little life to be snuffed out.

So I firmly unblocked the hole again to a shower of white beads, followed shortly by a scurrying little body, heading straight for the fresh air and safety of the flower bed.

A happy release.

I’ve modified the hole so the beads are mostly contained, but Mrs Shrew can still come and go.

It’s a simplistic view I know, but if only everyone could live in harmony with their neighbours.

Wouldn’t that brighten up a grey day!


3 thoughts on “The mole and the shrew

  1. marylynhofmann

    Be kind to all the animals wherever they may be and give the stranded jellyfish a push into the sea. I don’t know why, but I always remember this little ditty from when I was a young child. Your shrew story made me think about it, so I thought I would share it with you.

  2. Rosemary Bishop

    Liked your story,moles I’m ok with we have several in the garden, good fun for Toby as he snorts in each hole, but the small rodent gets a loud shriek from me. I do agree with what you say as long as they are not in my SHED. RB X


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