The Grumpy Naturalist

Mole Under My Skin : 2 minute read by Farriz Mashudi 18/08/2020

The crest 101st Airborne carried by Private Ryan (Matt Damon) in ...

This scene wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t written in the script. Matt Damon just ran with it, and Spielberg just kept the cameras rolling, approving the improv after the event.

Considering that the film won multiple Directors’ awards, the ‘King of Entertainment’, as Spielberg was also called, knew what he was doing, as it seems, did Private Ryan.

The holding of a paratrooper scope for Private Ryan (Matt Damon ...

“Earn this . . . Earn it,” Tom Hank’s character with his own dying breath implores the ‘Sole Survivor’, the last of four brothers, whom they’d come to save per Presidential order from the brutalities of a war no one should have been in.

Sadder still, it was based on a true story.

You’re very real, Mole. Should we save you, too? Do you deserve to live?

This morning I looked up moleskin, and also Moleskine*. I hoped to give you more meaning . . . Try to make some sense of your life, you know?

( *Pronounced ‘moleh-skee-ney‘ or ‘moleskeen’, or simply ‘moleskin’, howsoever one prefers.)

Subterfuge, direct conflict, nothing’s worked. Forget threats, I’m at my wits end, and fresh out of ideas what to do.

But you’re not a leather-like textile of one hundred percent cotton that’s soft, yet hard-wearing. Nor are you an iconic notebook made of cardboard and oil cloth (not dead mole hides), of Italian design and made in China (the ancient home of paper-making, according to the brand’s website); You definitely inspire a strong personal response, but creativity? Not so much.

At least not in the way Da Vinci, Picasso and Hemingway are said to have put their traditional moleskin notebooks to work.     

You, Mole, are notable for all the wrong reasons. You’re not a worthy subject in any book.

everyone wants you dead or invisible.

As it is, I have issues dealing with slugs. Unlike Belinda, our little neighbour in Vancouver who was the hoover that devoured them. To the birds and to Belinda, the slimy, plump gastropod molluscs were a treat (with or without salt). She’d pick them up and down them in one. If anyone needed containing back then, it was the toddler with the unhealthy appetite.

But we’ve got you now, and this isn’t child’s play or story-time.

As ridiculous as the situation is, and as impossible as you are, it’s a grown-up choice we’re talking about.

To rid their terrain of snails and slugs, the more humane gardeners apply death by hypothermia (place in zip lock bag and freeze before serving outdoors). The kindest hearted, plant a sacrificial plot. In their restaurant for garden snails (the only variety of escargot they’ve got), they go so far as to lay on a smorgasbord for the silver trail blazers to tuck into to their hearts’ delight. In addition to chickens and runner ducks (the Belindas), I know some who squish them or slice through them, even burn them like heretics over a fire. The pacifists amongst us would ask . . . No, actually, they’d be certain of the answer to this question:

Slimy they may be, don’t they also have a right to live?

We’re TALKING SLUGS.

As another fellow-gardener would also agree, this here Mole, he’s just doing his thing.

In some places, slugs are extinct. ‘Extirpation’, the call it. Riddance is localised geographically.

That’s what we want. Need. As a top priority. Here.

If this were a reality show, it’s the one called Survivor, not Love Island.

I’ve given you the option of making your living some place else. The rose balls sent down your tunnels to smoke you out left an escape route via the garden’s south-east corner. Use it, Mole. Fast. (Hubby’s called in the professionals. I told you he would. You’re a dark blot to be wiped out, and he’s got skin in the game now too. )

Enough already with the tapping back at me through the roof of your tunnels. Choose Life; If you had any other plan — Abort! A plaintive appeal, not cryptic at all, my message to you in loud Morse code is this:

Unknown Facts That Give Us An Insight To Behind The Scenes Of ...

“Run Mole, run…”

from another memorable flick.

For tips on treating slugs humanely: Slug Help

COMING SOON stay-tuned for the next episode in this mole-ist saga, featuring Jim, The Ferret.


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