How to Catch a Mole: Wisdom from a Life LIved in Nature
Moles are small and powerful, vicious subterranean predators. This damming description was penned by Marc Hamer, in truth, an affectionate professional mole catcher. In England, for many years he was the man to call when molehills appeared on the lawn, beside the hedgerow, or on the golf course. The behavior of moles, despite their beguiling appearance, was unlike Kenneth Grahame’s host in The Wind in the Willows, and instead of an unequivocal pest, the bane of homeowners and sportsmen throwing dirt up into mounds as they created their subterranean tunnels. Single-mindedly the moles pursued worms, dead or alive, along these tunnels—a species even more determined not to be seen above ground.
Deftly blending the global ecology of moles with a memoir, his endearingly personal narrative intersperses graceful poems, drawing the reader closer.
As a teenager, he walked out on a difficult father and spent many months walking through the countryside and towns, spending nights under the stars, shedding personal belongings as he traveled—the unwieldy sleeping bag replaced with a comforting blue blanket before he completed his education, reached adulthood, and chose an outdoor life. Towards the end of an endearing chronicle he admits, “My mind is losing its need to control the world… I let things be what they are.” But even as he steps back, his love of the natural world and the eloquence of his poetry don’t diminish.
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