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Mole or Vole?

August 21st, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor
I came across a curious creature in the vegetable garden. It looked like a mouse with no ears (ex-Mouseketeer?) and with just a stub of a tail. I wondered which of my cats committed the crime but more puzzling, “Was it a mole or a vole?” questioning my neighbor. “A mole”, she answered with conviction and without hesitation. Was this the culprit nibbling at my strawberries or just an innocent passerby? I picked him (her?) up by its stubby tail and tossed him into the ferns out of sight – but not out of mind. (Sorry, but the pet cemetery is filled to capacity and since there are no headstones they might be interred one atop the other. Which is worse?)
Still, I had to know – mole or vole? There’s a huge difference between the two. A mole is not a rodent and he’s carnivorous; eating worms, grubs and insects. He poses no indirect threat to the garden burrowing underground. A vole, on the other hand, is a vegetarian. Sounds passive enough, right? But he’s a rodent using the tunnels of the mole to get at underground root systems, thereby destroying your garden and making that tree appear to lean ever so menacingly toward the house.
The only way to know if you have a mole or a vole is to give him the old peanut butter test. If he sniffs his nose up at it, he’s a mole. If he slathers it on bread along with some grape jelly, you’ve got yourself a vole. This, however, is only conclusive provided he’s alive to take the test. In my case, I still didn’t know whether it was a mole or a vole. Just mere speculation; the strawberries had been nibbled at. In a court of law, this could not be submitted as evidence unless the teeth marks were inspected under a highly developed microscope. I would have to investigate further. If the berries remain untouched, then it was a vole. Then again, if they continue to be taste tested for quality control assurance, it may be the vole’s cousin, aunt or uncle. In either case, it would still be a vole. I won’t hand over the jar of Skippy just yet.
I decided to go a step further which is what I should have done to begin with. In appearance, the mole is just as I described earlier. The vole, on the other hand, looks just like a mouse only more stout with a shorter hairy tail. Aha! So it was a MOLE and not a vole. He was just an innocent in the midnight hour ambushed by Eleanor, Isabella, Henri or Miss Moreland. Which was it? I had to know.

So……….whadayathink? Do you find mysterious telltale signs of crime sprees in the garden? Do you know who to point the finger at?

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4 Responses to “Mole or Vole?”

  1. Chip Says:

    Interesting, I never knew there was a creature called a “Vole”. Still, it sounds as though you should have trusted your wise neighbor.

  2. Antoine Says:

    mole or vole, they’re both disgusting – they give me the willies

  3. magdalena Says:

    Wise words from a dog.

  4. magdalena Says:

    Comment from Magdalena was meant for Chip!

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