A year long battle with my furry, four footed foe has come to a glorious end!
I have met the enemy on the field of battle and victory is mine. After careful skirmishing by both sides I succeeded in out flanking him and have banished him from the field of honor.
Yes, it's true.
I outsmarted a groundhog.
Yes, there he is - Marmota Monax of the family Sciuridae. Known to friend and foe as ground hog, woodchuck, whistle pig, land beaver or bunnydog (I swear to you). This one had taken up residence under my house. His travels took him under my bedroom, dining room and kitchen and his primary entrance ran directly under the bath tub. He has destroyed the insulation under the floor in the crawl space, dug holes under the foundation to the front porch and it sounded like was gnawing on the floor joists.
I tried discouraging him by blocking his holes as fast as he dug them but since digging was his full time job and filling was only part time for me he took round one.
As woodchucks are rather lacking in imagination (put your own comic simile here) he refused to take a hint. Making loud noises did nothing. He was also rather particular in his eating habits. I obtained a live trap from a fellow parishioner who is a local animal control officer and used several foods recommended to me - carrots, celery and apples. My cunning foe passed them by with out a sideward glance. I watched him do it!
But in the end it was the higher functions of manly memory that did him in. I remembered that last summer he had shown special affection for my tomato plants. So last night I baited the trap with a large juicy tomato. From my long observation of the enemy I knew he was a mid-day forager so I went off to work.
When I returned I saw his utter defeat. Safely locked in the confines of the cage trap he submitted with rather good grace to his fate. I transported him some 7 miles away to a wooded area that I know is frequented by others of his clan. Upon release he gave me one swift, malice-free glance and raced off into the woods.
The taste of victory is sweet.