So, I know I’ve been promising the “gopher story” for quite some time now, but a quick Google image search let me know that I was probably actually chased by a woodchuck/groundhog. Who knew Punxsutawney Phil could be so scary?!?
My mom and I like to visit old cemeteries. It’s fascinating to read the old-fashioned names and intricate, often creepy designs carved into headstones. Our trips are generally somber and educational experiences that allow us to reflect on times gone by. Our cemetery trip last summer was nothing of the sort.
We were visiting a HUGE cemetery that can be seen off I-89 in Montpelier, Vermont. It was a beautiful, sunny, July day and we were armed with water bottles and sunscreen. The cemetery was empty minus the landscaping crew (who seemed to be on their lunch break and had nothing better to do than creepishly watch us meander through the headstones). When we were driving in, my mom had seen the gopher (I’m going to continue to call it a gopher) hanging out by his burrow. He was FAT. And cute. We left him to his salad of grass and leaves and found a shady spot to park the car.
After we had thoroughly explored as much of the cemetery as we could, we headed back to the car. My mom took the most direct route, cutting across the grounds, but I (being the “rules girl” that I am) stayed on the roads and paths. As I neared the car, I saw Mr. Gopher up ahead, still eating. His back was to me, and I tried to sneak closer to him to take a picture. Apparently, I wasn’t sneaky enough. When I was 15 or so feet away from him, he turned and ran, full speed, RIGHT AT ME. I shrieked/screamed/went into hysterics and bolted for the car without looking back, convinced that he and his buck teeth were after me.
Photo courtesy of http://www.ruewildlifephotos.com via a Google image search of “woodchuck teeth”. See the teeth?????
I’m pretty sure I’ve never run faster in my life, not even when I used to sprint on the track team in high school. I’d never had a wild animal chase me before. I figured he’d run away, just like the squirrels I try to chase usually do. It was terrifying. And also apparently very amusing to my mother, who just stood there and laughed.
Turns out, the entrance to his burrow had been in between me and him and he was just scared and trying to hide. I’m pretty sure he scared me more than I scared him, though.
Song of the Day: Howl by Florence + the Machine