As I was sitting on the back porch this afternoon, reading Anne of Avonlea in an edition with such tiny print that I had to look up often and force my eyes to refocus, I saw the ground moving about three feet in front of me. It wasn't more than a twitch, but I grabbed my shovel and hovered.
Realistically, I don't think I would have had the nerve to brain the little sucker. But I'm more than a bit frustrated, since every time I flood him out of one hole he digs up through another one that's even closer to the house. It's not as if we're talking about a fairway-smooth lawn here, though. It's all wild grasses and weeds and dead cuttings of same.
What? Oh, a gopher. I thought you knew.
After it became clear to me that he wasn't going to pop up and say "hit me," I drew the weeds apart in that spot and shoved the hose down the hole. It won't work, but it makes me feel better than doing nothing.
Besides, every night lately, I've been hearing something thump against the side of the house. Just once, and then I turn on the porch light and peer through the blinds and see nothing. But I'm sure it's the gopher, taunting me. At those moments, I think maybe I could bring the shovel down on his furry little head.