I Saved a Mole

Today while driving home from the college I saved a mole.

I was driving along a four-lane stretch when I saw what looked like a leaf in the highway — or was it a small animal, a mouse? It looked injured if it was. I slowed down and pulled right up to it. It wasn’t moving right, with the almost cartoonish centipede-like scurry of a mouse. It wandered unevenly in circles with a lurching gait, as if hurt or confused.

Or blind.

It was a mole, unharmed but completely unsuited for movement above the ground, on macadam. Like the penguin that waddles on land and speeds like a bullet in water, it was out of its element, lumbering like a tiny seal. Its pink, clawed, paddle-like feet gave it the shambling grace of a hatchling turtle making for the sea.

I’ve learned you don’t take chances with life and death when you have the wherewithal not to. I stopped my car, grabbed a reusable shopping bag, flicked on my hazards and stepped out to see what I could do. The mole was pale dove gray with velvety-looking fur, not quite as long as long as my hand and blindly wandering four lanes of highway in the middle of the afternoon.

Before I saw the danger coming, a huge green pickup rolled right over the mole — but the wheels missed it as I stood frozen with panic and hope. It kept going at a blind shamble.

There wasn’t another car coming, so I walked over, leaned down and put down the bag in front of the mole, holding it open and hoping it would walk in so I could carry it to the grass. But it avoided the lip of the bag each time with its sensitive nose, turning away, refusing the trap.

I tried putting the bag on top of it, using the bag to protect my hand from a bite and carrying it to the side of the road. But it was wriggly and small, hard to catch.

Then I realized in my attempts to catch it I’d turned it back around towards the roadside, and we only had a few feet to go to get to the grass and dirt. I herded it with my feet over the road and into the dirt, guiding it in a relatively straight line to where the road ended and dirt and grass began.

When he hit dirt it took him about three seconds to disappear. I didn’t even see him dig. It was like he just pushed himself into the earth, and it yielded to him because it was where he belonged.

4 responses to “I Saved a Mole

  1. Wow! Cool. I can just see him enveloping himself in welcome earth again.

  2. Moles are so cute! Their hands are so fine and human like (like a troll’s hands and the skin so soft!

    My old dog was extremely passionate about them and there were quite a lot where I lived – in fact they were considered a pest. Sometimes she came in with a mole she had digged up (that was a full time job for her)… i just could not get myself to kill it because they are so fascinating and touching.

  3. Hello my friend! It is great to hear from you!

  4. He he, you too! not much time to read blogs these days but it is still a pleasure to read your reflexions …

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