The groundhogs are back. The farmer next door planted alfalfa and they came in force. Thought I was done with them when I sold the farm.
I don’t hunt anymore, since I’ve had kids. I’ve retired, and decided I shall kill no more. But I had a nice pumpkin patch with about 20 nice pumpkins in it that my daughters and I loved. In the space of a week my beautiful pumpkin patch was reduced to four smallish have chewed up pumpkins.
I felt like I was in an action movie. You know the one. The burnt out hardened mercenary retires has a family, regains his soul, and lives a life of peace. Suddenly drug dealers show up and threaten or hurt his family, so that he is forced to pick up his weapons again and become a one man killing machine.
It was like that except instead of hurting my family the drug dealers ate my pumpkins and instead of drug dealers it was groundhogs.
So, like Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, I went down to my secret place and dusted off and cleaned the old weaponry or swore I would never wield again. I’ve sold most of my guns but I still have a nice .22 semi. Did I mention I really do look like Bruce Willis?
One evening while the kids were watching TV, I climbed up onto the roof of the barn and waited. It wasn’t five minutes before a big fat pumpkin eating groundhog made his way out of his hole and over to the pumpkins.
BLAM! Take that.
The shot must have startled the other groundhogs because two or three of them popped out of their holes to see what was going on. They’d become quite bold and fearless since I adopted my pacifistic ways.
I suppose that there is a lesson there. If you want to grow pumpkins you need to be willing to have a little blood on your hands. Murder is the constant price of Winter squash.
So, I shot another one.
BLAM! Die Mofo!
This one wasn’t a clean kill and he twitched around while blood jetted from his neck for about thirty seconds.
I didn’t see any more that day, so I picked up the two dead pumpkin thieves and threw them out in the field. The next day turkey vultures at them, and my daughters were curious about how the turkey vultures knew that their was groundhogs for lunch.
The next day the word was out and the groundhogs were a no-show. But I had enough. I went to the farm store and got two have a heart traps and some smokebombs. I put smokebombs down every hole. They never do any good but I figure the gesture is worth something. The next day some of the smokebombs had been chewed up and thrown out of the holes. So much for that.
I had loaded the traps with canalope, but no takers. Impatient I tried to flood some holes but groundhogs understand drainage and no luck.
A couple of days later I switched to fresh corn. Bingo! Both humane traps had ground grizzlies in them.
I thought about drowning them. Ground hogs live in holes in the ground so they must be familiar with flash floods and drowning. It would be a natural way to go. They are probably evolutionarily equipped for such a denouement, and would find it preferable to the ignominious and anonymous demise of a bullet.
Did you like those big words?
The attempt at drowning didn’t go so well. I filled up the old leaky horse trough and dropped the trap in, but the groundhog could swim and had boyancy and managed to keep the trap afloat and was obviously suffering, so I grabbed the handle and held it under and counted to a hundred when the struggling ceased. It took a long time, and I felt pretty sick and shamed at the suffering I’d caused by botching the job.
Yeah, I hate groundhogs, but if we let our hate rule us we become that which we despise. Another lesson.
When I pulled the trap out of the trough, the groundhog suddenly took a huge deep breath and came back to life.
I thought about gassing it by placing it behind my truck tailpipe but figured I’d caused enough suffering so I just blew a hole in its head with the .22. Then I did the same thing to its buddy. Thoughtlessly, I’d left the other trap in full view so the second groundhog had time to witness his partner’s long suffering by near drowning and ultimate demise.
I felt bad about this but decided not to show weakness in front of the prisoner. I shot him cleanly. Then I apologized to the corpse of the one who’d died hard.
“Sorry about that.”
It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of Gitmo.
Then, I carried the traps out into the field. The next day the vultures came and ate them and my daughter was curious about the vultures knew to come and get the groundhog.
I didn’t know how they know, but I wasn’t about to admit my ignorance to my little girl.
“After I dump the groundhogs out, I log onto Vultures.com, tell them I have a dead groundhog and request a vulture.”
The next day, the same thing happens (except for the torture, cruelty and incompetance.) I kill two more and dump them in the field.
“Do you really go to Vultures.com and ask them to send a vulture,” asks my daughter? Can you imagine that she has gotten so suspicious of her father?
“Well yes I do.”
“I want to watch you.”
I can’t beleive my own progeny suspects me of dissembling or prevaricating, but there it is. I can’t get away with stalling either. She keeps bugging me. So, with a feeling of dread, I get onto the internet under the watchful eye of my daughter and type in www.vultures.com, and there it is!
Now there are several links there including “foreclosures” and “Sexwoman.”
I resist temptation since my daughter is there and click on “vulture birds” and I see a link for buying Toyotas, but also a link for vultures “buy at dealtime.com!”
So, under the watchful eye of my still suspicious daughter, I click that. I get some more links and click “garden” as a promising candidate.
I’m halfway believing I’m only a click or two away from ordering a vulture. More importantly, so is my daughter!
All this stuff with prices comes up! Cool. Vulture guns, vulture sculpture (Say that five times fast,) more vulture guns, “vulture loving” (not gonna click that, thank you, at least not in front of my daughter. Just bookmark that for later, thank you.)
So, seeing all the prices and the apparent legitimacy of vultures.com my daughter is board. I quickly scroll to the top, type in “request vulture for groundhog pickup” into the search engine and hit enter.
This gives me links to guitars and used cars, but by this time my daughter doesn’t even notice and leaves satisfied.
Now, in the title I said I have a question. Here it is:
As I sit here bragging about torturing and murdering wildlife and telling vile lies to my daughter with obvious pride it occurs to me that this makes me a bad person.
Am I evil? Am I bad?
If I am, will I be able to find redemption the way Bruce Willis does after he kills all the bad guys?
Seriously, this all makes me a bad person, doesn’t it? I’m not making this up, either. It’s all true.