Goin’ Molein

imageMy neighbor thinks I’m nuts.

Now, when I say that, i don’t mean “My neighbor probably thinks I’m crazy, ha ha”.  And I don’t mean that it’s crazy that my neighbor would think I’m nuts.  I mean that I’ve given plenty of reasons for my neighbor, a probably-normal-in-most-ways woman in her late 20’s, every reason to believe that she’s living next to a man who has at least twice his own personal share of quirks.

I don’t intend to give her that impression.  I’m not trying to act weird around her in any way.   That’s not what’s happening at all.  It just seems that whenever our paths cross, I’m…well…possibly not showing my most sane side.

Where I live in Fayette County, when it’s night, it’s dark.  That may sound redundant, but there are no city lights to brighten the night around there.  If you drive home and pull into your drive, you may have left some outside lights on, and that helps, but it’s still not bright.  My neighbor works late shifts and is usually coming home after the sun has set.  And me, I’m outside many evenings going for a walk with Graham.  Sometimes I lead and sometimes I follow.  I’m the Alpha Male, but he’s still going to make his opinions known.  And he likes to wander over into the field past her driveway…  So when she pulls in and gets out of her car, I have to make my presence known so I don’t freak her out – and so I don’t get maced .

I used to do this by saying “hi” to her.  But that didn’t really work for some reason.  So now I try to make small talk with Graham just so she’ll hear me talking and not freak out that I’m there.  But for some reason, hearing “You ready to go in now?”, “What in the world did you get in your fur?”, or “Think it’s time for turkey?” coming from a guy she doesn’t know in the dark field doesn’t seem overly settling.

I’ve been out on the side of our lane in full daylight when she’s pulled in and waved to her from a mere few feet away and not received the slightest glance.  So I know she wants nothing to do with me.  But…last night I think I finally made the image of all images out there…

I was outside (with Graham of course), just recently being home from work.  I’d changed into a Walking Dead t-shirt, the only pair or workout pants that were clean, and a pair of old running shoes that were red from putting in mulch the day before.  Then…I finally saw the little trouble maker who’d been tearing up the yard for weeks.  A mole.  Graham and I watched him go through the mulch and out into the yard – either with no fear of us, or with a complete lack of a survival instinct.  Either way, I instantly had a healthy amount of respect for him.  Once I realived that he and Graham could be trusted near each other (Seriously, Graham wouldn’t hurt a fly.  And I mean that literally.  I’ll have to share the story that proves that one day), I went inside for the proper mole catching equipment.

Soon, after much searching, I came back out carrying a bright orange shoebox.  I know…you probably didn’t know that was the required mole huntin’ gear, did you?  That’s okay, because neither did my neighbor…

Just as I was about 5 minutes into my endeavor, crawling under a tree with my orange box, trying to convince an uncooperative mole to trust me with his relocation needs, she came out of her place dressed for a night on the town…  And Graham didn’t help by choosing that moment to walk away with a “Him?  No I don’t know him.  Never seen him before in my life” look on his face.  Have you ever seen a look of embarrassment on a cat?  Sheesh.  There I was on my own, on my knees, talking to a mole that couldn’t be seen from five feet away – let alone from across the yard – guiding a shoebox across the grass.

While I’ve never wanted to settle for being ‘normal’, I do like to think that I don’t usually come across to most people as weird.  But you should have seen how dramatically she avoided me.  And there was gravel flying as she pulled out and away…

I’ve named the mole ‘Lil Squatch’.  Both because of the huge “tracks” he’s left in the yard and, because he’s hard to spot.  My neighbor doesn’t even believe he exists.  But I’m expecting to see him again soon.  I carried the shoebox a ways away and dropped him off in an area that I think might make a good alternate home for him but, if it was within walking distance for me, it’s walking distance back for him as well.   And…I think he and Graham played and bonded while I was inside looking for my mole trap.  So the little guy will probably be back where he’s grown too comfortable seeing us.

And then I’m certain that when Graham and I are playing with him out in the yard next time, that will be the exact moment when the neighbor comes home.  And I won’t blame her as she does her best to pretend she doesn’t see us at all…



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