There is an interesting little battle being waged at my house.
This isn't the normal "blue guys against red guys" or even a simple Good Guys versus Bad Guys. There are three main players; Lowell, Nathan and the gophers.
Let me set the scene: We have two lawns, both of which we inherited from the previous owners. The lawns are currently being ruled by weeds and by gophers, the latter who have constructed a gigantic underground labyrinth of tunnels and holes. Lowell has decided to overthrow the current leadership and declare himself Supreme Leader of the Lawns. To win this war, he's armed himself with weed killer, a shovel, buckets, and a hose. The use of the first is obvious and not noteworthy. The other tools of mass destruction, however, are extremely entertaining.
Lowell diligently waters the lawns every couple of days but instead of just turning on the hose and walking away, he takes a different approach. The hose is turned on, as high as it will go, and then inserted into the biggest, freshest looking gopher hole that he can find.
Then he waits.
Sometimes this can be a pretty drawn out process, so I'm going to fast forward to the exciting emergence of the enemy... Eventually, the series of underground tunnels fills with water leaving Mr. Gopher with no other option but to seek dry land above ground. At this point, Lowell has the upper hand.
The first time this battle was waged, a relatively "normal" sized gopher came running up onto our sidewalk. Lowell immediately grabbed the hose and doused the little varmint with water, effectively pinning him against the house. With the gopher immobilized, Lowell moved in with a bucket and captured him.
Enter the third player in this drama; Nathan. My little boy loves animals and abhors violence. And he especially detests when the two come together. So, out of consideration for the boy, Lowell did not immediately carry out the death sentence that he had handed down for his prisoner. When Nathan came home, he ohh-ed and ahh-ed over the little creature, pulled a few weeds to stick under the bucket for the gopher to eat, and then began lobbying for permanent ownership of his new "pet".
With that dream effectively dashed by a stern look from Mom, he went to Lowell to demand clemency. Out of the goodness of his heart, Lowell agreed to release the gopher in a nearby field. What a little boy doesn't know, will not break his heart.
The next day, we came home to find that the gopher had escaped his bucket and had returned bravely to the battlefield.
This battle was then repeated, Lowell with the hose, soaking wet gopher, bucket, but then, due to the increased wile-ness of the enemy, a large piece of wood was placed on the bucket to discourage further prison breaks. Nathan fed the gopher a weed and, again, demanded a humane sentence of pain-free relocation.
Fast forward to the next day: Lowell comes home to find the bucket is still in place and the wood is still on top, effectively holding down the cage and.... a large hole that has been chewed through the side of the plastic bucket. Again, the prey has proven its cunning.
Yesterday was battle number three. This time the battlefield was the backyard lawn. Lowell, confident in his tactics, but armed with a metal bucket, began with the hose. Patiently he waited as the water level silently rose. He waited and waited and waited... After almost 45 minutes, our hero was about to give up. He turned off the hose and started toward the house when he spotted Gopher. Immediately he knew he had met the reigning ruler of the underground. Gopher was the size of a small house cat. And mad.
Gopher bared his teeth, made a hissing sound and actually came toward our hero with the hose. Thankfully, in his other hand, Lowell held another weapon - the shovel. Up until this point, the shovel has only served to fill up the holes that he found in the lawn. On this day however, it would be the most valuable weapon in his arsenal.
Facing off with his opponent, Lowell was surprised at Gopher's aggressiveness but only hesitated for a second before winding up and swinging. With a smack, Gopher learned what life would have been like if he had been born an unassuming golf ball, instead of a nefarious little root monger. Unfortunately for Gopher, Lowell was not on a fairway or even a putting green, but standing a mere 10 feet from the back of our house. Gopher hit the wall.
The battle was over.
Out of consideration for the third player in this little dance, Lowell buried the fallen warrior and didn't mention the day's events to Nathan.
Instead of allowing Lowell to become yet another unsung hero, I share the tale here so that you can join me in thanking him for his service as protector of our home and lawn.
Husband, you are my hero! :)