Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gopher Urine and Motorcycles

I am pretty sure that I own the only motorcycle in the state of Florida that has had a gopher urinate on the seat.
It's a long story.
Well, no ... , it's actually a short story, but I can probably make it long if I try.

It all began at a 4-Way Stop  in the middle of 4 peanut fields being worked by big tractors.
I was heading north on Raptor Red, just gunkholing and looking for whatever might come my way.

I had assumed I would get more than 3 miles from the house before something interesting did actually come my way.

I was wrong.

I am used to this.

As I reigned in Raptor Red and pulled to a stop at the 4 way intersection, a bit of movement in the road caught my eye.

This tiny guy was crossing the two lane blacktop. He was leaving a field with one big tractor chewing up the ground and heading to the next field where another tractor was working the peanut crop.
Now here was a problem, ... a dilemma if you will.

The infant gopher was heading out of one dangerous place, across a dangerous road, to another dangerous place.
He was also a protected species.

A pick-up was approaching the intersection.
It was time to act.

I leaned over from my perch upon Raptor Red and scooped the baby gopher up and into my windbreaker pocket.
Not a perfect carrier, but I was still close to home and the gopher colony back at PFHQ.
Once I got turned around, I could ride one handed and keep one hand on the jacket pocket.

I swung the bike out of the intersection and headed back home.

In the rearview mirror, I saw the truck reach the intersection. It seemed to pause longer than needed at an empty 4-Way stop in the country.

The driver pointed out something in the road to his passenger.

I felt my pocket.


I did a U turn and headed back to the 4-Way.

The truck drove on.

When I pulled up to the 4-Way stop, the little gopher lay on his back,legs kicking, seemingly none the worse for wear after his short fall from Raptor Red.

I thought about the truck as I scooped him up yet again.

What kind of people stop, look at an upside down tortoise baby in the road, and then go on without at least righting it or moving it to the side.

I pondered this as I drove home, one hand on the throttle, one hand on the tiny gopher wiggling in my jacket pocket.

I may have rolled through a few stop signs due to my one-handedness.

Back at PFHQ, home to at least 7 wild and free gophers, I warned the new guy about the neighbors cats who trespass here when Bear is inside. My advice was to share G-5's gopher burrow and not stray too far from the entrance.
He seemed to listen.

I showed him the entrance and he took it from there.
I hope to see him again and if he decides to stay and make his own burrow, it looks like he will be G-8.

Oh, the gopher urine. Yes, well after releasing him safely, I returned to Raptor Red to head out once again.

One of the dimples in the leather seat was filled with liquid ... the one just below where my jacket pocket would be.

I reached into the pocket.

It was soaked.

As were my jeans beneath it.

Oh well, who could blame the little guy.

It was quite a morning for him.


lisa said...

Oh my, he is so cute! Very lucky you found him and took him to safety.

SophieMae said...

The gopher did it. And the dog ate my homework. LOL!

Miz S said...

I have a name for the kind of people that would do that. But I will restrain myself, since this is a family blog.

I think G-8 is gonna be very happy in his new neighborhood. Will the big guys let him share their burrows, for real?

Cathy S. said...

Only you could tell this kind of a story and have it be true.

Beverly Hill said...

You are my hero of the day. :)

Sayre said...

I couldn't help it... I said, "Awww!" You new little gopher friend is absolutely adorable. I hope he's happy in his new digs.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such a brave little thing going into the deep dark unknown. I hope he stays with your herd. What is a group of tortoises called?

threecollie said...

Got a corner on cute doesn't he?

Unknown said...

Slow turtle on a fast motorcycle. No wonder he peed your pants! (If that makes sense?)

Anonymous said...

Biggest coincident: Read your blog this morning and this same afternoon i happen to find one of those lil fellas trying to cross the street in the middle of the suburbs! Since Germany is not known for their turtles and we couldnt find the owner, please give us some advice on "how they like it"!

RBP (Dudes gf)

Anonymous said...

On a sidenote: He pooped on my bosses passanger seat (my driving is GOOD)!


Anonymous said...

FC- Poor little guy; first he's stranded, then dropped and to top it off you blame him for the wet spot! Ya know, you aren't getting any younger and those things just happen. We may be in your area next weekend but not sure yet. If we are we'll let you know. Lightnin
Nopw that you've "met" RBP you know why we love her so much!

Barbie~ said...

hehe- got to add an 'r' to his name... G'r'8 ;)
I would have done the same. He'd be in my back yard living the high life right now. :-)

Dani said...

Live Long and Prosper

R.Powers said...

Lucky for both of us. He gets a safe place and I get a story.

The dog DOES my homework.

Miz S,
Little ones will share a big burrow until they start their own. At least here at PFHQ that seems to happen occasionally.

Cathy S,
Thank you for trusting me. On my honor, these are all true tales except on one day in April.

Welcome to PF! Thank you for that honor.

They are cute to the max.

I would have to Google that one :)
A "colony"is used, I know that.

He owns it.

In a strange way, it does.

Germany is out of my zone. If it is a tortoise you have, they like it dry.
Could be one of the African tortoises that people buy in pet stores.
Sorry I can't do better than that.

Neat! Let us know.
(RBP scored many comments ago when she expressed Bear love)

I like that. If he makes a burrow, I just may add that R to his marker.

Ahhh, you know how to warm a Trekkie's heart.

Aunty Belle said...

youse somethin' else. Shakin' mah head.

LaDivaCucina said...

FC, I'm constantly amazed at your super sharp eyes. But I'm like that too, I notice everything. I think we need to get you a superhero cape! Ranger man?! Well done!

R.Powers said...

If I had a nickel for every time a woman looked at me and shook her head...

La Diva,
I down with a cape. No tights though.