As with the political class, it's much easier for us Gardeners to know who the enemy is and blame them. Drought perhaps, or Aphids on the bloom of Tomato, leaking hose pipes, foraging Rabbit. The blight of Squash Bug, who incidentally are at this moment so deranged by passion they can be gathered two at a time. Which is embarrassing for them, and I too find it a trifle awkward.
Then an obsession devours imagination, and last night I dreamed of a Mole, down there somewhere deep in his trophy room. The skulls of Gardeners were on his walls, along with secateurs and trowels and bits of string and several Mole traps and bunches of Garlic, and he was explaining to his Little Moles why it was that God placed them upon this earth. And I would have listened, but there was carburetor from a Tecumseh engine on his coffee table that I really needed because they don't make them any more.
I'll blame Kenneth Grahame, and his Wind in the bloody Willows. Mole was my favorite. I thought Ratty rather a 'know it all,' and overly energetic. And Toad was just one of those ass-holes a person has to get along with because they own the land and can always escape the Magistrate. Kenneth Grahame himself, was a big time banker, and I guess he pottered with Roses that grew in gravel.. The stories he told to his own child Alistair, drenched the minds of well bred Edwardians, and on into the galleries of those who have never actually had to meet a Mole, up front in the cold of dawn, personal, face to face.
In my dream I saw Alistair Grahame being led in chains from an antechamber that's somewhere beneath the ground where Blue Lake Bush Beans are trying to grow. The Little Moles poked Alistair Grahame with sticks, and laughed. And the older Mole chased him down the burrows while the Little Moles sang "Ring Around the Rosie." A cruel reference I decided to the event of May 7th 1920, when Alistair Grahame committed suicide, two days before his twentieth birthday, by throwing himself upon a railway line. His father had always called him Mouse, which to my mind remains a most gentle name.