Our driveway, one long quarter mile lane, is punctuated with ground squirrel holes. It looks like someone, without any sense of design, created a very narrow mini golf course.

We are adverse to poisoning and we don’t own a gun. Of course we have two large dogs. Useless. Both of them. One guards one hole all day while many rodents prance around behind her back in complete freedom. The other dog races after the squirrels with the stealth and grace of a rambunctious elephant. Naturally the rodents disperse by the time he arrives. He looks around, distinctly perturbed at their absence.

This explains why I was so surprised this morning, to see Thor, the graceless young elephant, trotting proudly down the driveway with some limp thing in his mouth, flopping in his rhythm. I cheered with disbelief, delight and praise. He promptly changed direction and came happily running towards me, little floppy intact. I gave a nervous laugh and assured him he needn’t bother. This did not deter him. I made an about face and headed back towards the house. Not understanding human emotion or hysterics Thor caught up to me and started bumping me in the back with his prize. With a grimace and increased pace I was soon back in the house. Thor looked up at me as I looked back at him through the window. He finally dropped the squirrel, with a look of confusion as to why I did not appreciate his kind gesture.

There lay the remains on my patio. Thor is far better at chasing away all predatory birds, our only hope in this matter, than he is at catching ground squirrels. I think he had chased a hawk away and collected the loot, which was when I saw him trotting home with it. I scooped it up and flung it into the bush in a completely futile attempt to return it to its rightful owner. Thor didn’t seem to care. He preferred his bone of bribery. But my temporary hope was dashed as I realized that we were destined to have a mini golf course for a driveway for quite a long time.