Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Mole (1)

After I found a mole near the common dumpster, I learned that moles live underground in many urban areas. This particular mole was trying to find his way home amid the concrete. With my handkerchief, I carefully picked him up and deposited him on the grass.

Nearly forty kinds of moles live in the woodlands and fields of Eurasia and North America. Moles spend most of their lives underground. In the darkness of their burrows, moles eat, sleep, mate, and raise their young. These insectivores, with their small eyes and ears, eat many insects and other invertebrates. As underground tunnellers, moles have taken advantage of where they live.

Usually out of sight and underground, moles are the least understood among mammals. As swimmers of the earth, moles’ bodies are digging machines with their shovel-like paws. Similar to a person swimming the breast stroke, moles push the dirt behind them as they dig. Once their burrows are done, moles spend much of their time patrolling their system of runways. Since their burrows act as a giant pitfall trap, moles often find worms or insects that fall into one of the tunnels. With their sensitive snouts and Eimer’s organs, moles can detect juicy worms, one of their favorite foods.

The mole’s ability to tunnel underground reminds me of an explorer hacking his way through the jungles. But the mole not only finds a path, he also makes the path for others to follow. To me, mole is more than an explorer; he is also the guide into the unknown. The mole is the Pathmaker!

Who wants to know what lies beyond the bend? Who is unafraid to go there? Who makes a road to get there? The mole!

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