Monday, July 22, 2013

Negative Media Depiction of Moles

Evil mole from the motion picture Rango.
My kids don't see a lot of dead things. When the kids do, the critters are usually in the street, victims of automobiles or heartbreak or too many fermented acorns. No joke, we once saw a squirrel fall out of a tree and hit the pavement hard and begin to spasm. I honestly thought the jig was up, but it rallied and scampered back up the tree.

The only thing I actively set my mind to destroy are the moles that ravage our lawn. I'm frequently teased about this, the usual joke being my single-minded obsession is the same as Bill Murray's character in "Caddy Shack." 

But each summer I kill a few moles.

"The Underminer" from the movie The Incredibles.
Perhaps the greatest trauma I inflicted on my daughter last year was pulling up a scissor trap with the mole still very much alive. I then killed the mole with a shovel while the family hid in the house.

My daughter tells me to leave the cute moles alone. "They're evil," I say, then point to all the examples in the media that paint the mole as a hideous monster.

This weekend I got another and I invited the kids to look at the tiny creature that caused so much destruction. The son wanted no part of this, but the daughter came out and had a careful inspection. The actual creature didn't do much to encourage her to love moles.

Now 72 hours later our replacement mole has arrived and the game begins anew. Why bother? After a decade of this I have realized that although the present situation is far from perfect or even good, to abandon the pursuit of moles is to host about five of the pests instead of one.

I've told my daughter that when she's 21 I will pass on to her my mole-trapping skills. She says she'll never need them, but fate has a way of digging up the lawn.

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