Henry the Nimble-Footed Gopher

Henry, the nimble-footed gopher, has taken up residence under my shed, and has established it as his base of terror operations, from whence he will mock and annoy me. We’re not 100% sure that Henry is his real name, or if it’s just his nom de guerre, but it’s how he signs the notes, so Henry it is.

I bore no particular grudge against Henry, once I got past the incessant peeping coming from the shed. Then I realized that the grass seed that I had been carefully applying to the lawn wasn’t sprouting. In fact, it wasn’t even there. Henry, apparently, saw my new lawn as a buffet and, at that point, I decided that he had to go.

Having no particular desire to whack Henry, I went in search of a “humane” live trap, with the idea that I would simply trap him and then relocate him to the yard of someone that I particularly dislike. I saw it as a win/win situation for me and Henry, though perhaps not so much for Henry’s proposed new host.

There are about 1,000 ways to whack a gopher for under $20, and Home Depot sells every one of them. Most of them result in Henry (or a gopher just like him) playing some weird game of terminal solo Twister on a slab of cardboard covered with glue. I will admit that I looked these over carefully. In my mind, I saw a character from a Bugs Bunny cartoon trying to extricate itself from a glue-covered floor. However, I knew that, in the real world, there would be much moaning and weeping and gnashing of teeth at my house until Henry eventually expired from exhaustion and hunger (I was not going to feed him, no matter how long he remained on the glue trap!) or I whacked him with a shovel, and put him out of our collective misery. Either way, I was going to look like the bad guy, so I bypassed the $20 inhumane traps and forked over $60 for a humane trap.

I baited the trap with the two standard food groups universally known by gopherologists to be irresistible to critters of Henry’s ilk. Those two food groups are, of course, honey-coated peanuts and Cheezies.

To date, Henry has eaten two cans of peanuts and four bags of Cheezies (the big ones, not the snack size) without once triggering the damned trap. I can only assume that he is, simply, not heavy enough to depress the plate.

One possible solution is to add some weight to the trap when I set it, so that it takes less Henry to set it off. But I have decided to go with plan “B”, which is to set out little tiny desserts. I figure that, even if I don’t successfully trap him, hardening of the arteries should get him out of my life, eventually.

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