Friday, 12 February 2010

Kenneth Graham sure started something.

It seems from my post the other day on moles, that no-one (apart from farmers) can bear to kill a mole. That image of shy little mole in Wind in the Willows has captivated us all. Of course he is not a bit like that in real life - he is quite a killer in his own little way - but what is certain is that Mole has found a place in our hearts. Pamela (from the House of Edward) tells me that they relocate any small animals they find in their garden. That made me smile and it is also reminded me of a story from thirty years ago, which I will share with you.

We lived on a housing estate in the West Midlands - the houses had large gardens, ours especially so as we were the top house at the end of the last cul-de-sac. At the bottom of our garden was a small back road leading to a footpath, and a few houses. In one of those houses lived a mother who was a croupier at a local night club (that raised a few eyebrows) with her teenage son who, in the words of the gossips of the estate, was 'a bit of a tearaway' - always staying out late and playing loud music. Get the picture?

We went away on holiday one year and, as usual, the ladies who lived opposite to our garden on that little road offered to keep an eye on things while we were away. They did this every year and we were very grateful as it meant we didn't have to worry about a thing.

When we arrived home they were quickly over to tell us that something very strange had happened while we were away and that they thought we should contact the local police. Apparently one of them had been standing in the bedroom window in the early hours of the morning and had seen the 'tearaway' young man creep down the road with a glass in his hand and tip something behind the bushes at the bottom of our garden! They speculated that it was probably 'drugs' which he was hiding/storing in our shrubbery.

My husband, who worked in the Prison Service all his working life and was very upfront about things, decided he would tackle the issue himself. He waited until he knew the young man was in and then he went to the front door. The young man opened the door. This is more or less the conversation which took place:

H. I understand that the other night you tipped something from a glass into my shrubbery.
YM How do you know that?
H You were seen by the neighbours.
YM Oh God, you can't do anything round here!
H (by now getting suspicious) Well, come on then, explain yourself.
YM (blushing furiously) If I tell you you won't tell my mates, will you?
H (getting impatient) Come on then, spit it out.
YM Well I'm afraid of spiders and there has been a big one in our living room for nights. My mum says they won't hurt you, but she was out on that night doing her late shift at the Night Club, and this giant spider ran across the carpet. I was so scared I grabbed a glass put it over the spider and slid a post card underneath the glass.
H Why didn't you kill it?
YM (blushing again) - well it hadn't done me any harm, had it - and you can't just kill living things like that. So I put my dressing gown on and crossed the road and tipped it into your garden. Only I think it's come back because I saw it again last night.
H (final words before parting) You can tip spiders into my garden any time you like my lad!

That same young man grew up (in all senses of the word) and is now a dad himself.

Moral of the story, I suppose, harking back to yesterday's post - ' you can never judge a book by its cover'

16 comments:

Bovey Belle said...

And there was me thinking, before I got to the end, how the hell did he catch a mole in a glass?!!! Lovely story : )

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for this wonderful story. the villains of the piece, if there are any, are those nosey neighbours. Always a worry.

Heather said...

What a lovely story Pat - I quite like the sound of that 'tearaway'!

Jenn Jilks said...

I love the story! We have a ton of spiders, and love our critters. In spring the mosquitoes are so bad we like having the spiders in the house!!!!
I found a photo of a mole, I love seeing the signs of the critters in the forest.
I feel badly when they die, but that is the cycle of life!

Teresa said...

Such an entertaining little tale!

jinksy said...

Or a spider by its garden...

willow said...

Several years ago, there was an extreme boom in the mole population at the manor. Our grounds got so bad, it literally looked like a bombed out war zone. We ended up having to use more drastic measures than the card and the glass method!

Golden West said...

No moles hereabouts, but the gophers have been busy all winter and the neighborhood cats are starting to take more notice!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

With all the endless layers of rocks and their thin dusting of covering soil, there's not the mole alive that can constitute a danger to my yard—but I've lived in places where moles often tunneled this way and that, "excavating" their pathways and making more of a mess of a large yard than you might imagine possible. But we never resorted to traps or poisons. You almost never see one, of course, but they're lovely little creatures with the softest fur.

On the other hand, you know my feelings regarding spiders in the house…

BT said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you for telling it to us. I'm still smiling!

Titus said...

Brilliant story Weaver, and oh, so true! I feel sorry for teenage boys, because everyone is a bit leery of them just for being - well, teenage boys!

Luckily I have a husband who puts the really big ones out for me! (Spiders, that is, not teenage boys).

DJ said...

Great story, because it was true...I do the same with spiders...

ChrisJ said...

I remember the field behind our house in Flamborough had dozens of molehills in it. They were as common as cow pats -- and you know what they are, surely. You would have laughed at the antics of my 'boys' (in their early forties) trying to catch a rather large roach that had found its way into our condo on Kauai last year. Big strapping lads that they are!

Cloudia said...

Wonderful parable!



Aloha, Friend


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Dave King said...

That's life, though: you have to be a killer, if only in fantasy. Another great post, brilliantly told.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments - glad it made you smile.