December, here in the Antipodes, marks the beginning of summer – the least jolly season for this particular mole. Not a single tra-la-la escapes my mouth. Yuletide here has no snow, no holly, no log fires, no days drawing to an early hibernatory close, no log fires or snowmoles or holly – only blinding sun and relentless daylight hours. The heat melts my mole brain into a helpless puddle. My burrow walls and delicate eardrums tremble with the bass thumps and high shrieks of drunken parties by night, and by day a cacophony of lawnmowers, whippersnippers, and chainsaws. The outside world notches up from 33rpm to 78rpm

But I have had a reprieve. I cannot believe it. For three weeks now I have revelled in secret pleasure – secret because my pleasure seems to be at the expense of every one else’s sense of injustice. Three weeks ago after a few hot days, I ventured my snout above the grass-line and sniffed the air.

Mizzle. Unrelenting mizzle. It has enticed me from my burrow. I have walked for hours through the mist on Knocklofty, water drops glistening on my velvety fur. Instead of joggers and dog-walkers, poets have emerged from the mist – one has taken me by the paw and shown me a tawny frogmouth in a native cherry tree. Wallabies have lost their shyness. My lungs are singing with inhalations of fresh eucalyptus.

It can’t last, of course it can’t, but for the moment this mole is relishing every single day.



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