Monday, July 2, 2018

Local Gossip

The Kitten was an infinitely better gardening companion when she was a kitten. Fond memories of her sniffing Beetles, she was fascinated by and a little nervous of Grasshoppers, marveled at the Zebra Tail Butterflies on the Coriander blooms. I remember her resting in dappled shade under a Squash leaf, she was panting from the excitement of it all. A most endearing little creature she was. Not these days. It's more like having a Wild Boar in the vegetable garden, no plant, insect or animal is safe from her except, I thought, Moles who appear to delight in raising her ire to the point where in pursuit of them she can pretty much dig up an Asparagus Crown, which is not an easy thing to do without a shovel or opposable thumbs. Certainly a noble cause, but no use explaining to her that many, many generations ago in the good old days when domestic pets where a protein source of last resort the cause against Moles was lost. The Moles and their allies in Madison Avenue won and ever since gardeners have been suckers for a snake oil salesman with a wheelbarrow organizer and life time guarantee on a Mole Trap.

I told the Kitten of a headmaster at one of those English Boarding schools who shared her absurd attitude to our subterranean overlords. In his private garden he had a Croquet Court, and if for one reason or another you're under the impression that Croquet is a frilly laces and cucumber sandwich game, please disabuse yourself. It's a blood sport of some sort with dangerous clubs and colorful wooden cannon balls and an understanding of grass as billiard table perfect. A Mole hill on his Croquet Court, especially on the Friday morning before he hosted the county's Croquet Tournament, would send the headmaster into apoplexy, and those of us who may occasionally and for no good reason have aggravated him just a little bit very quickly found themselves in Latin Detention. Don't know what it is about Latin teachers, my experience of them suggests they're very badly damaged people who should basically be put on a watch list of some sort. The Kitten took no notice of my assassination of her character and as I picked the last Bush Bean of an incredibly hot morning, there in her mouth was a Mole. Not a big Mole, a little smaller than my thumb, but a Mole nonetheless. On my way out of the garden with half a bucket of Beans, I'm pretty sure she called me an homunculus.

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