One sunny summer afternoon when I was thirteen or fourteen I was hanging out in the yard in shorts and bare feet when my Dad hurried up to me with a spade in his hand.
A spade. You know, one of those shovels with the short handles and flat edge, the kind my Dad always uses but I don’t have enough muscle to get into the dirt so I always have to use a pointy-blade shovel?
Yeah, one of those.
“Amy! There’s a mole in the garage!” he said as he handed me the spade.
“I’m going to chase him out – you stand here around the corner here and whack him as he runs by.”
Does anyone else see the problem here?
I stared at him in horror – I can’t even begin to explain how much I did NOT want to hit a mole with a
“Whack him real hard.”
My mind was reeling… What if I missed and he ran at my bare feet? What if I hit him and hurt him? Worse – what if I KILLED him?! I imagined a mole, fur streaked with gore, lurching blindly toward me.
No way. I am so not doing this.
“Um, Dad? I can’t hit a mole with a shovel.”
“Sure you can! You just..” he pantomimed bopping an imaginary mole on the head with the spade. “BOP!”
Seriously, I am SO not doing this.
I don’t remember the rest of the story – if Dad chased the mole toward me and I gave a halfhearted attempt to whack him, or if Dad let me off the hook and dealt with the mole on his own – but we’ve laughed at the story ever since.
Hmmm… That gets me thinking… Dad’s birthday is in March… Maybe he needs a new game… 😉