Refreshed after a dip in the river, Django and I returned to the house. Chattering as we wandered back at a leisurely pace, and just as I was about to put my right foot down I heard this deep voice warn me ‘Mind your step young lady!’
Surprised at being thus addressed I looked about. For I am neither young,I am in fact middle-aged if we’re nitpicking, nor did I feel particularly ladylike, wobbling on one leg, trying hard not to topple over and water still dripping from my body. I looked down to see a mole. That explained a lot……
I managed to avoid treading on him and asked him how he was.
‘Well what does it look like?’ he retorted gruffly.
‘You don’t look quite right’, I said as politely as I could.
‘Exactly!’ he uttered.
‘What happened? I asked.
‘I will tell you what happened, but first you must take me with you as I’m baking in this sun and I cannot begin to imagine what it’s doing to my complexion.’
And so I carefully picked him up by his tail, he was truly a bit worse for wear and reeked terribly…..of course I didn’t say that out loud and the three of us finally went home. Fortunately he didn’t seem to mind I carried him in this rather brutal manner, I guess he was relieved to have been spotted by us and removed from the hot sunshine.
As soon as we entered the garden, he insisted he must stay in The Birdhut. I found a glass display box for him, where I laid him down gently, just so he could cool down and not bother the other critters in The Dwelling. They’re a hospitable bunch but they have standards too and heavy decaying BO can be a bit too much at times, especially with tempers on edge due to the hot Summer weather!
Anyway, Mr. Mole seemed happy enough in the shade and promptly fell asleep, snoring loudly bless him.
‘Hmm, so much for explanations…..’ I thought out loud.
’We will just have to wait Saskia’, said OldBirdKing.
Which we did.
Meanwhile I went in search for some bedding; as I had mown the lawn yesterday there were lots of freshly dried grasses and I made a loose, comfy mattress for him, plus for the sake of privacy I draped Mo’s lace curtain over the box. Clay Frog happened to be sitting there and agreed to watch over Mr. Mole. He doesn’t mind the smell, I guess it’s an acquired taste.
After several hours Mr. Mole woke up, prepared to start telling us his woeful tale.
‘I was digging away, providing the missus with a new tunnel (you know how they always seem to want more extensions to the house and can’t be bothered to do the digging themselves but somehow manage to get you involved in all the construction and hard work) when I heard a rumbling noise coming closer and closer and the earth began to shake and I feared the tunnel would collapse. Now that wouldn’t do! So I dug myself a hole through the dirt upwards, the missus warning me “don’t go up in the daytime dearie, you never know what’ll happen, remember when Georgie climbed up in the daytime…..” Georgie is my long lost brother,’ he sighed and fell silent for a moment….we all waited with baited breath for him to continue…..
‘I came up and just as I was about to ask what on earth was going on, I felt a huge weight roll over me and I was squashed by something very big and very heavy. I think I must have passed out for a while and when I woke up, I just lay there panting and flattened out like a pancake! I said to myself, I said “this does not feel good Mr. Mole, this does not feel good at all. The world feels upside down now and I cannot really move anything anymore. What will I do and how ‘bout the missus?” I tried calling her, but she’s hard of hearing as well as being blind, so no hope there. I must have lain there several days and then you came along and at last someone heard me and you took me in. I am so grateful to you Django and Saskia!’
Well, by now we were all moved to tears, such a sad story. Although it did seem Mr. Mole himself wasn’t sad at all, in fact it would seem he was relieved. How about that? So I asked him if he wanted to go back. Did he miss his missus?
‘No way, all that digging in the dirt and scrubbing my fingernails every night after a hard day’s work and for what? The missus is practically deaf as well as blind, so the food’s not much to write home about, anyway she’s not my missus, she’s my sister-in-law, I kind of inherited her after my brother died, let their children look after her from now on.’ He answered adamantly.
‘but won’t they miss you? ‘ I asked.
‘I very much doubt that,’ he said ‘we were never a close knit family, such differing personalities. If I don’t return they’ll simply assume the worst and leave it at that. That’s what happened when Georgie didn’t come back all those years ago. I am a self-confessed bachelor, by choice my dear, by choice……..,’ he murmured thoughtfully, ‘no, I’m quite happy to have moved up into the world of daylight creatures and you know there are stories about this studio and all the goings-on in The Dwelling in the Small Animal World. So I have always wanted to meet you all and see for myself, in a manner of speaking of course as I am blind.’
We all started clapping and hugging each other and welcomed him in our midst. It would appear Mr. Mole is here to stay in The Birdhut.