There’s a Vole in the Bucket

I was in the basement the other day calmly processing laundry, when I heard a repetitive and odd sound. It went: scritch, scritch, soft thump. Over and over in the quiet basement I heard scritch, scritch, then a barely audible soft thump. Naturally I was getting creeped out. I started searching for the source of the sound with dread; had the Evening Grosbeaks heard how I feel about them and their voracious appetites? I wondered how much damage 50 birds could inflict on a flipped-out human in a basement. To my surprise, I discovered today’s blog star in a bucket. At first I thought it was Morocco Mole, but upon closer examination determined there was no star on his nose, so it was probably a vole. He was scurrying up the side of the bucket and would fall on his back once his momentum couldn’t overcome the pitch. Ed the resident biologist later confirmed my biological assessment and returned Mr. Meadow Vole to his likely home in the wood pile, where I am assured he won’t freeze to death. We think he may have hitched a ride into the house on the wood cart. Or it is possible he snuck in when a door was left open for loading or unloading something. This puts a new spin on the invariable winter admonishment, “Shut the door – I’m heating the whole county!” Now I can add, “And you’re letting wild animals in the house!”

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