One Right Smart Mole

Moles don't laugh with you
Moles don't laugh with you

Don’t you just love standing out on your porch in the late afternoon of a crisp Fall day, drawing deep full breaths of air still damp and pure from a cleansing shower, and listening to the music of nature all around you? If you stand still long enough the birds and the squirrels will pay you no mind and come close enough that you can almost reach out and touch them. If you relax your breathing and your mind, and focus on the moment the stresses of the day and the troubles of the world will drift away like clouds after the rain. That’s what I was doing a little while ago when I saw him.

It was just a barely perceptible movement caught out of the corner of my eye. It didn’t even register at first, but awareness slowly crept in and I realized what I was seeing. The marauding mole that’s been plowing up my yard was on the move.

I’ve tried traps; I’ve tried poisons; I’ve even tried one of those mole-vibrator-repeller things; nothing worked. So, when I saw that dirt move, and for the first time knew for sure where he was, I knew what I had to do. I went inside and hollered, “Honey, where’s my shotgun?”

“You don’t have a shotgun,” she said.

“Okay fine, where’s your shotgun?”

“Why?”

“‘Cause I need it.”

“Why?”

“I just saw that mole that’s been tearing up the yard and if I hurry I can get him.”

“With a shotgun?”

“Unless you think your pistol would work better. Where is it?”

“Fine, the shotgun is in the closet. Please be careful.”

“Sure, sure.” Two minutes later I was back on the porch, shotgun in hand and pockets bulging with shells. I crept down the stairs and made my way to where I’d seen the dirt move. I waited. Minutes passed and then I saw movement several feet away. I started to close in, but the little bastard had strung a trip wire across the yard. I went down, face first in the mud; the shotgun went off, mortally wounding a magnolia tree, and I could swear I heard the mole giggle.

A minute later my pockets were empty and the yard was full of craters, but still no sign of the mole. I think he somehow stole my box of shells too because when I went in to reload they were gone. Mysteriously, my wife was missing too. I sure hope she’s okay.

If you have any good ideas for getting rid of a right smart mole, please let me know.

Regards,

Tim Couch

Simple Freedom

Greetings Brother,
Life is good here at the CowChows. The necessities of life are bountiful.
I was out back a while ago just rocking on the porch and watching the rain fall. There’s nothing more peaceful than a rainy afternoon in the Ozarks. While I was sitting there soaking up the peace the cattle that are pastured behind our place came down for a drink from the creek. They come by a couple of times a day and sometimes they stop to say hello. This time they did.
I watched them file into view along the fence line, and one after the other they stopped and turned my way. Ocassionally, one would dip her head to the ground and come up chewing a mouthful of fresh, wet grass. I wondered what it must be like to live your life inside a fence, not able to come and go as you please. I wondered what it must be like to know nothing of the world beyond the borders of iron posts and steel wire that enclose you. I wondered if they even realized they were captives. As I sat there wondering these things I felt sorry for these poor simple creatures and I hoped they didn’t know what it meant to be free, for then they would know what they were missing.
One of the heifers looked around furtively, and then stuck her head over the fence and looked directly at me. She craned her neck as if she were gesturing me toward her. At first I thought nothing of it, but she kept making this gesturing motion until my curiosity overcame my desire to stay dry. I descended the steps and began slogging my way across the wet grass toward the fence. I was drenched through before I had taken a dozen steps, and all the while she was nodding to me as if to say, “Come on.”
As I neared the fence, feeling more than a little silly, she again looked furtively up and down the fence line. I reached my hand toward her to let her sniff it, and then gently stroked her forehead. “What is it, girl?” I whispered, “What do you want?”
She looked me directly in the eye and whispered back, “If you ever want us to bust you out of your pen you just say the word.” And then, she winked.
"Just say the word"
"Just say the word"

Greetings,

Life is good here at the CowChows. The necessities of life are bountiful.

I was out back a while ago just rocking on the porch and watching the rain fall. There’s nothing more peaceful than a rainy afternoon in the Ozarks. While I was sitting there soaking up the peace the cattle that are pastured behind our place came down for a drink from the creek. They come by a couple of times a day and sometimes they stop to say hello. This time they did.

I watched them file into view along the fence line, and one after the other they stopped and turned my way. Ocassionally, one would dip her head to the ground and come up chewing a mouthful of fresh, wet grass. I wondered what it must be like to live your life inside a fence, not able to come and go as you please. I wondered what it must be like to know nothing of the world beyond the borders of iron posts and steel wire that enclose you. I wondered if they even realized they were captives. As I sat there wondering these things I felt sorry for these poor simple creatures and I hoped they didn’t know what it meant to be free, for then they would know what they were missing.

One of the heifers looked around furtively, and then stuck her head over the fence and looked directly at me. She craned her neck as if she were gesturing me toward her. At first I thought nothing of it, but she kept making this gesturing motion until my curiosity overcame my desire to stay dry. I descended the steps and began slogging my way across the wet grass toward the fence. I was drenched through before I had taken a dozen steps, and all the while she was nodding to me as if to say, “Come on.”

As I neared the fence, feeling more than a little silly, she again looked furtively up and down the fence line. I reached my hand toward her to let her sniff it, and then gently stroked her forehead. “What is it, girl?” I whispered, “What do you want?”

She looked me directly in the eye and whispered back, “If you ever want us to bust you out of your pen you just say the word.” And then, she winked.

Best Regards,

Tim Couch

STINGER! – Natural Nuisance Deterrent System

Go ahead, ring the bell.
Go ahead, ring the bell.

Life is good here at the CowChows. In fact, it’s very good. We’ve been conducting a test this summer with an experimental device that is showing such excellent results that we’re thinking of applying for a patent. It’s such an ingenious device that we didn’t even think of it. In fact, we didn’t even realize it was the source of our good fortune until very recently. Here’s the deal…

You may recall that several weeks ago I had a close encounter with the law of gravity due to a hornets nest under the eave of the house. Following that encounter we decided to give peaceful coexistence a try when it came to the hornets. We left them alone and, thankfully, they have left us alone. We had pretty much forgotten the nest was even there until a couple of weeks ago when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to find three of the neighborhood children. They were all aflutter because we had a hornets nest on our house. I explained the concept of peaceful coexistence to them. They said I was crazy and should call their daddy to come get it down, and they left.

Here’s the thing: they haven’t been back. We’ve also noticed a marked decline in the number of drop-in guests, salvation sellers, and solicitors of all kinds this summer. It’s an amazing thing, and the nest is on the side of the house. Just imagine how quiet it would be around here had they built their nest right over the front door.

So, assuming someone hasn’t already patented it we will soon be offering under the CowChows brand the “STINGER – Personal Privacy, Safety and Solicitor Deterrent System.” It will look just like a hornets nest. Just peel the paper off the self-adhesive bottom, stick it to the ceiling of your porch or under the eave of your house, and then sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet.

We’re also working on a deluxe model that integrates a motion detector and the sounds of angry hornets. We just can’t decide who’s going to record the soundtrack. Any volunteers?

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch

Unintended Consequences

Cats on election day
Cats on election day

Why is it that good intentions always seem to lead to unintended consequences?

For example: A while back a black and white cat wandered through our yard. It was kind of skinny and hungry looking, but not unhealthy. My wife, being the kindhearted and generous soul that she is, coaxed it onto the porch and gave it some table scraps and a heaping helping of affection. It came back the next day, and the next. We decided it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have a guest cat around the house so we brought home a bag of cat food and began putting out a bowl of food and water for her. It was a good arrangement. She didn’t belong to us so we weren’t responsible for her, and yet we got to feel good about taking care of her and enjoy her company when she deigned to visit.

A few days later she brought a friend over for dinner. He was well behaved and kind of shy so it was okay. We could handle another guest cat. We hadn’t bothered to give the first one a name but now we needed to call them something just so we’d know which one we were talking about. To make it easy we decided to simply call them Thing-One and Thing-Two. They were good neighbors. They stopped by every evening to say hello, have a bite to eat, a quick rub, and then they were on their way.

Then came Thing-Three. She was pretty much a feral cat. She made it clear she was only there for the free food and wanted nothing more to do with us. We felt sorry for her and accepted her into our little group. After a few days she began to calm down and act as if she might consider a scratch behind the ears, when along came Thing-Four. She was a blond haired, green eyed beauty who thought she could swish her tail and get anything she wanted. Unfortunately, for us, she in turn attracted, Thing-Five.

We drew the line at Thing-Five; enough was enough. We tried to be generous and offer a better life to a few stray cats but they were just going to keep coming until there was nothing left. And, where they once came for a few minutes in the evening as part of their neighborhood prowl now they were staying all the time. Once their nourishment needs were taken care of they just wanted to lay around in the shade all day. So, the bowls went empty and dry, and you know what? The cats did just fine on their own. In fact, they seem much happier now than when they were lounging around on our porch. Thing-one recently had kittens. She sent us a card.

Diligent labor for labor’s sake is not in our nature. When we realize we can vote ourselves the fruits of another’s labor the knell of democracy has begun.

Sincerely,

Tim Couch