Okay, now that I have your attention. I should explain a few items of business at Bookscoops (and I really did kill a gopher with a shovel). For one – I accepted a position as a literacy specialist at a local middle school, which I am very excited about- and two, we are reeeaalllyyyy far behind on our Double Scoop for this month, but it is coming. . . we promise – the author is none other than the brilliant Mo Willems and the book is I Will Surprise My Friend – an easy reader. My sister is in the process of moving (again) to a more permanent home than our mom’s basement with less spiders (she hopes). But until then I thought I would share with you what I have been doing (besides getting ready for the next school year and taking care of my kids).

In April, Holly and I reviewed A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck and the main character – Grandma Dowdel is amazing, from trapping foxes for needed money to keeping the town gossips in line; but what I really wanted was for her to come to my house and take care of my underground rodent problem. As some of you may or may not know I have a serious gopher (possible vole) problem in my yard – I have mentioned in a few posts, the angst it has caused me, I have lost countless bulbs of the crocus, iris, and tulip variety, several rose bushes, my lavender plants (although they are making a nice come back) and some lovely evergreen bushes. Not to mention the random piles of dirt strewn about the lawn and the numerous methods and even more failures we have used to eradicate them. I was seriously concerned about our vegetable/fruit garden and the damage these little bite sized herbivores could do. I mean really I want to do my part in the green movement – grow my own food, composting, reduce waste, etc, but these rodents are putting a chink in my garden plans (actually it’s more like a bulldozer).

I’ve tried a variety of methods including traps, smoke bombs and I have called exterminators, which won’t (or can’t) guarantee they will get rid of the buggers.

So what works?

A hose down their tunnel with water to chase them out and then I hit them on the head with a shovel – a hand shovel, no less. If your reminiscing about the game Whac-A-Mole it’s very similar. . . except for the side affects.  I immediately started shaking all over. . . . I just kept thinking – It was them or my garden and I couldn’t wait for my husband to come home as I might lose my chance. I called him right after, and I could hardly speak I was so shaking so bad (I could not be a hunter for sport) and he thought something was seriously wrong and then he was shocked to learn that his wife – me, had killed a gopher (I waited until he got home so he could get rid of the body). I proceeded to tell my daughter who was playing with a friend. Her friend said, that when her brothers kill one they act all happy, why was I shaking so bad?

Since then I have killed three more . . .and we still have more to go (we live next to a large open field and close to a large section of undeveloped land), but at least Grandma Dowdel would be proud of me! Oh and I did tell my Grandpa B on the phone, that I have some of his blood in me (he is the one who trapped skunks for furs as a kid see the post on A Year Down Yonder to read his story).

So be forewarned the rest of you underground living, plant loving rodents – don’t get between me and my plants because I carry a mean hand shovel. Thanks for the inspiration Grandpa B and Grandma Dowdel!!!

I know this is not your typical experience you glean from reading an excellent novel, in fact I’m willing to bet it’s on the unusual side, so my question is what is your most unusual experience you have had with a book in real life?