Our yard is pretty wild, and we like it that way. We can sit on the new backyard patio, surrounded by birds and fuzzy things.
Mosquitoes, too, which is why we have mermoles.
You see, we also have a pond. Not quite five feet long and just over a foot deep, it’s a polyethylene oasis with a little splashing fountain. The fountain aerates the water so it won’t smell like a cesspool.
The mermoles are so the mosquitoes won’t mistake it for a nursery. The water was getting full of wrigglers when we went to the store and bought two goldfish.
Or so we thought.
The wrigglers were gone in no time at all, and the goldfish were larger. Now we find ourselves detouring to the pond on our way between house and garage so we can say “hi” to the fish. We even put up little solar path lights so we can watch them at night while flailing at mosquitoes. Then we go back into the house, close the door against the bugs, and listen to the fountain through the window.
That is when the mermoles come out.
We have never seen the mermoles, but so far this summer, we have fished out two drowned common moles, one terminally sodden star-nosed mole, and, this afternoon, a defunct vole.
Moles have a few things going against them. First of all, they don’t see at all well, so they’re probably easy to fool. Also, they must be incurable romantics, considering how many little moles are born to make yards lumpy.
Imagine: A mole pushes his way into the lamplight, and what does he see? A golden apparition, dancing on its tail, singing in dulcet tones,
O manly mole, come, come to me;
We’ll hunt for grubs beneath the sea!
A few nights later,
O lovely mole, with nose like flower,
You mesmerize me with your power.
Wait a week.
Not one, but TWO glistening forms gliding to the edge, with come-hither looks in their bulging eyes…
“Hello, sailor, new in town?”
“Ooh, those big paddly feet give me chills!”
And last night, by the light of the fireflies,
Why should I settle for a mole
When I could love thee, mighty Vole?
Bad move, Vole.
What next? The mermoles had better not get too sure of themselves.
What is so rare as a day in June,
Or luring in a fat raccoon?