The mole is still eluding the traps. It has gone tantalisingly close to them, leaving a molehill just inches from one. The patio still seems to be providing sanctuary, as smaller hills chart the progress around the edge. When I cut the grass this week, I had hoped to tempt it out onto the lawn, but it isn’t playing my game. The history of man versus mole is a long one, and has existed since we have cultivated crops, and prepared lawns to relax on. Despite advances in technology, and numerous tips on the Internet available, they don’t appear to be any easier to catch now, than they were in the days of Queen Victoria.
I confess to a grudging admiration for the determined creature. I thought that moles were rodents, but research tells me that they are not, and they belong to a different order of animals. They are nothing if not industrious. It took me a considerable time to shift buckets of disturbed soil this week. The small mole must be powerful indeed, to have excavated such piles. Scale up that level of work and industry to our size, and a man could easily dig a substantial tunnel by lunchtime.
I have a niggling feeling that this is a war we are not going to win. The oblivious mole, intent on feeding, blissfully unaware of the disturbance to our aesthetics, has no idea of the contest raging above. It is just going about its business as it always has, with little regard to the clumsy creatures that also inhabit its world. The tiny animal has humbled us, and a part of me thinks that this is the way it should be. The other part wants to catch the thing, naturally. ‘Beaten by a mole’ is hardly a desirable epitaph.