Gopher Hunt

When the Exterminator Fails

By Kim Steinberg

The Boise moon was a quarter-orb of bright light in the southern midnight sky. Later it morphed into a cloud of daytime moon. My cream-colored golden doodles, Sammy and Nala, moaned episodically in their sleep: tormented long groans. I was certain they dreamed of catching pocket gophers and devouring them. During waking hours, the dogs threw themselves at the glass sliding door, snapping and snarling at pocket gophers.

“Call the exterminator,” said my husband Si.

“Let’s wait a day or two,” I said. “Maybe they’ll go away.” 

The first sign of them had been in my neighbor’s yard, a three-foot elongated pile of loose sandy dirt with a hole at the top. She planted explosives in the gopher tunnels and blew them up, leaving the critters alive. The ground shook, the trees bent, and clods splattered, hitting the side of our home. The gophers relocated to my yard.

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Kim Steinberg

About Kim Steinberg

Kim Steinberg has lived in Boise since 1981. Her work has been published in this magazine as well as Writers in the Attic, The Cabin Anthology, Bewildering Stories, Shut Up and Write Zine, and Potato Soup Journal.  She is currently editing an around-the-world travel memoir.