The Guilt is Unbearable

I’m sharing this to free myself from the guilt I have been feeling for the past 24 hours.  I know some of you may read this and think, “what the heck?”  and that’s okay, but I am seriously plagued with guilt.

Yesterday, while Jacob was taking his morning nap, Caden and I went into the backyard to play.  As always, the first thing Caden did was take off his clothes and grab the hose to play in the water.  I sat down in the shade and chatted with my good friend, Nicci.  As I was talking and watching Caden I saw something on the grass.  It was like in the cartoons when the carrots disappear into the ground, except it was our grass.  What?  Gophers! 

Being the good wife I am, I thought, “Gophers are Geric’s arch-enemy!  I’m going to stick the hose down the hole and flood them into someone elses yard.”  So I took the hose from Caden and shoved it into the hole and we both stood above it watching it gurgle and fill up with muddy water. 

Then it happened.  Not a foot from the original hole a little head popped out of the ground!  “Holy crap!”  I screamed into the phone as I grabbed Caden and whisked him away.  “There’s a freakin’ gopher in my yard!”  It seriously freaked me out.  I mean, gophers are wild animals and while Nicci did make a good point when she asked if I would be afraid of a squirrel walking through my yard, there’s just something about the bushy tail of a squirrel that makes it more likeable that then rest of it’s rodent family.  As we were standing there another head popped up, and another, and another!  There were four of them!!!  They actually came crawling out of the hole and onto my grass and that’s when I realized they were babies. 

What should I do?  I hung up with Nicci and called Geric, who didn’t answer his phone.  I thought, these are my choices:

1.  Leave them alone and go inside.  But what happens next time we come out and Caden’s running around naked and the not-so-baby gophers decide to make an appearance.  Not to mention the wrath I would suffer from Geric when he realizes that I let his archnemesis just get away.

2.  I could pick them up and put them in a neighbors yard.  But this would require me lifting the bucket above me head and what if their weight shifts and they fall on me.  *shudder*

3.  I could look for the gopher poison in the garage and “feed them.”  But I just couldn’t stand the thought.  Yes, I know they are rodents.  No, I don’t want them living with me.  But I can’t be the killer of small furry animals!

4.  I could call animal control.  I did and got an answering machine.  I could call pest control.  I did and they laughed at me and said, “This is a very unique situation, mam.  I suppose we can send someone out to your house to destroy them for a $45 service fee.”  No thank you.

What to do?  What to do?  Well, I can’t let them wander around my backyard.  I got the shovel and scooped them into a bucket.  I’m sure my neighbors that live behind me were laughing their booties off as they listened to my sound effects of squealing, dry heaving, and yelling a couple obsenities as I transferred the little guys to the bucket.  Now what?  They started crawling to the top of the bucket!  I had to cover it!  I grabbed a bath mat that was drying in the backyard and put it over the top.  That’s all I could do.  I was completely grossed out and needed a shower to wash the gross off of me.

Caden and I went back inside, and the temperature got hotter and hotter and hotter.  I kept looking out the window at that little bucket and getting sadder and sadder, but not so sad that I let them out.  They still really freaked me out.  I left them out there all day until Geric got home at 10pm.  (I know, I’m terrible.  PETA please don’t picket in my front yard!)  He took the rug off the top and he confirmed my suspicions.  They were dead.  I was so sad. 

I’m not a killer.  If I have the opportunity to scoot a bug out of my house alive, I take it.  I get mad at Geric when he steps on bugs outside, that’s their home.  And these were babies!  Their Mama is probably looking for them!  (Are gophers maternal like that?)  I know some of you are thinking that I’m being a bit dramatic, but it seriously broke my heart when I looked in the bucket and saw the “sleeping” gopher babies.  I felt like Lennie in Of Mice and Men when he kills the mouse. 

I can’t stop thinking about them.  I’ve told the story to everyone I’ve seen today, and I’m hoping this little confession will free me from my guilt.  That, and the fact that I keep telling myself that dying in a hot bucket must be relaxing, like sitting in a jacuzzi… don’t you think? 

 DSC01283

Rest in peace, my little gopher friend. 

P.S.  Like my new header?  Thanks to Siana Photography for taking such awesome photos at the Comfy and Cozy photo shoot!  Two shout outs in one sentence!  Notice the hot guy on the right?  That’s my hubby!  I know what you’re thinkin’… hunka hunka burnin’ love.  Hands off ladies, he’s taken!

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10 responses

  1. Oh Erin, I needed a good laugh. Thanks, Alisha Lewis (P.S. You’ve got way bigger cajones than me to actually scoop up little critters that run around!! I’d be doing some crazy critter dance and cussing a lot just seeing them run around! )

  2. Sad story. We actually do have squirrels in our backyard (we live in a little house in the big woods up here) and I loved to watch them jump from tree to tree and picking whatever it is they eat out of our pine cones. Then, one day Joshua tells me that he saw a news report of killer squirrels jumping out of trees and attacking people by the neck! He was totally kidding, but I will never look at our rodent friends the same way again.

  3. I’m not sure how I feel about this… I say feel guilty for another 24 hours, donate $20 to a animal friendly institution for restitution, and go on with your life. 🙂

  4. How did you scoop those buggers up? Didn’t they run? They should have. Huh. Well, I think Horton would be sorely disappointed in you. Cuz you know what he says. The guilt is normal, and it may never leave you completely, but the best thing you can do is move on and know that there will be less and less ever day, and hope that it will soon be a distant not so painful memory. Oh, and bad form on scorching the babies. HA!

  5. Erin,
    I am so glad that there are mothers like you out there. You might have saved your kids some serious harm. I know that I’m being a little dramatic, but the possibilities are there. It took serious guts to do what you did!
    Jen

  6. Am I the only one that feels sad for the gophers? Poor little babies. Granted, I don’t have a house or a yard or gophers in my yard to deal with. I’d like to think that if I did, I’d just let them live there peacefully and we’d have little gopher friends who popped out and waved when we came outside. lol

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