Last week, the kids and I were having a bug hunt when I noticed a suspicious mound in my front flower bed. It looked like a gopher hole.
I grew up on a ranch. I know what a gopher hole looks like. When we were kids, my brother and I helped out with the gopher trapping. Gophers can be terribly destructive little buggers if left unchecked, so we would set the traps and the next day go out and check them. For every gopher we caught, we would cut off the tail and turn it in for 25 cents from the irrigation district, and my Pop would match their 25 cents. We did this all spring and summer long, walking up and down the fields with our wagon full of traps.
So I know what the mound of a gopher hole looks like. And I know what a mess they can cause.
Maybe I was in denial, but I walked away and didn't think about it again....that is until the next day when my parents came over and we all noticed that the little bugger had been very busy. What was one mound the day before had become a whole gopher colony. Damn gopher.
Something had to be done.
So last night, my dad brought over a trap.
As we were setting it, my dad was explaining to he girls how the trap worked and that the gopher would be dead when we caught it. He looked up at me and said, "Now, tomorrow when you pull this out of the hole, he will hopefully be on there - and he will hopefully be dead."
"I DO know what to do, Dad. I HAVE done it before," I said confidently, and we went inside.
I had truthfully forgotten about it until his morning when my dad texted me to see if I had checked the trap.
We ran outside and pulled the trap out of the hole.
Sure enough, we caught the little rascal.
All three of us whooped and hollered and were so happy - until it started moving!!! This is the part where my kids learned some new (not very nice) vocabulary. I will spare you the specifics, but if you hear my kids say something unsavory, blame the gopher.
It was only caught by a foot and was wiggling and trying to get free. They are so gross and ugly and it was VERY alive!
Hayden jumped up on the porch and yelled, "Whoa! THAT is NOT what I was expecting!" LOL!
We all screamed and laughed (and I cussed) and carried on like a bunch of crazies - all in the front yard for the neighborhood to see. It was like the gopher from Caddyshack was in my yard! And all we could do was act like a bunch of noisy, goofy little girls. LOL
Carly looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "Mom, maybe we should call Papa about this."
That was the exact moment that I realized that despite how confident I had been the night before, all those years ago when my brother and I were gopher trappers on the ranch, I had not actually done the gross parts - I made my brother take care of ones who were not dead, I made him take them off the traps, I made him do all of the icky/scary parts. Not because I was a girl, but because I was the oldest boss. Bosses know how to delegate, that's all.
I turned to Carly and laughed and said, "Actually we don't need Papa - we need UNCLE ANDY!!"
Since Uncle Andy was currently hundreds of miles away, leaving me without little brother to delegate to, it was up to me to dispatch the little monster myself.
So I grabbed a shovel.
I took a deep breath.
And I bopped that little sucker over the head.
And we all squealed and jumped (and there was more cussing) as the gopher tried still to free himself from the trap.
I bopped again. We squealed again. I bopped. We squealed. I bopped. We squealed.
This repeated several times until I was sure that he was dead.
I wasn't sure what to do with him at that point - I was scared that he would come back to life or something when I went to take the trap off, so we stood there and watched him for a few minutes to make sure he was really dead before I disposed of the body.
Let's just say that I hope that this was a lone gopher - and that it is a good thing that I am in the mom business and not in the pest management business. My kids thought that the whole thing was really creepy and hilarious - and I suppose I did, too. Oddly, it was a little bit of a "moment" between us - just me and my girls, taking care of business. We are women, hear us roar - GIRL POWER!! We don't need no prince to rescue us - we bop our own gophers!!
You know, all of that.
Truthfully, I would by lying if I said that I wouldn't have stepped aside and let Uncle Andy have at it! ;-)