Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stumbling on secrets

On the way to the library today I almost stumbled over the remains of a dead mole on the sidewalk (something I dont see very often as my cat seems to be more partial to gifts of the mouse persuasion). There it lay, curled in on itself like a little ignoble comma, its fur strangely reminiscent of a piece of aged velveteen that I once had in a drawer as a child. I realized that a mole is a creature that I have ever only seen in an inanimate state. I see evidence of their existence from time to time; ruined plants, furrows in the soil, tales from angry gardeners, and all sorts of mole prevention devices in catalogs, but they almost never make any corporeal appearances aside from the occasional gnawed and moldering corpse.

At those times it is as if they had accidentally been tossed up from the depths, like one of those fabled giant squids that no one has seen except in a decaying condition on the shore, or half digested in the belly of a whale. In death these creatures seem to lose some sort of essential charm that once kept them securely hidden from human eyes while they were alive. They appear suddenly, as clues to an unseen world, one that we can only imagine...light less tunnels under the earth or depth less trenches under the ocean. They are the mute keepers of the unknown's secrets. Hmm, perhaps that little mole wasn't so ignoble after all....

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