Muldvarp

Was the mole always there? thought Dimpy, or had it appeared overnight? There was a black Knobby just above her top lip, to the right of her nose. It sat there quite well, like a dark jewel in a fine setting, but she knew she was no Madonna or Marilyn, just a plain-looking single mom living in a small town. The only Museum Director’s job going anywhere was in Lucerne Village so here she was, but she worried constantly about the Museum losing its funding and her losing her job.

The mole looked good though, and added interest to her face. In a world of models with unblemished skin, photoshopped to banality, here was her distinctive feature, like the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, or flawed beauty, where asymmetry is appreciated as the essence of natural change. This is derived from the Buddhist tradition of impermanence, revealing wisdom in natural simplicity.

“Little mole,” Dimpy said to herself, fingering her strange squashy tumour. “Where have you been hiding?” She’d had moles on her body since childhood but none on her face. Had this one appeared because of sun exposure, or age? Was it black, or dark brown? She moved closer to the mirror to see. It pushed out a few millimetres with an irregular border. She had a sudden horrible thought and held onto the sink with both hands. Could it be a melanoma? What if she had skin cancer?

Wabi originally implied the loneliness of living in nature. Over time its meaning mellowed to simplicity and freshness. Sabi meant chilled or lean, and evolved to mean the serenity that comes with age. So its meaning now was that of sad beauty.

What if it was cancer? She would die and her five year old daughter would become an orphan, and be sent for foster care, where she would suffer all kinds of abuse, and become mentally and emotionally unstable. It was unbearable.

There was scratching outside. Was it those jays nesting in her roof again? She was glad they’d found a home, like she had with her daughter Sasha, but did they have to get up so early? She didn’t like that their movements scared the hummingbirds away. She loved seeing their green and red flashes, little songs in the air.

The scratching wasn’t coming from the roof though; it was coming from the garden. It couldn’t be her landlord’s horses, as they’d been sold last month. Too much poo and too much trouble. Maybe a coyote? Dimpy peered outside. There was a molehill in the garden, right in the middle of the lawn. Damn that critter! There were plenty of areas that would benefit from digging, but the lawn wasn’t one of them!

Dimpy forgot about the molehill and went to work. When she got home it was dark. She was tired and went to sleep early.

In the middle of the night she heard scratching again, except now it sounded more like shovelling. As if large chunks of earth were being moved. Dimpy put on her dressing gown and went outside. Oh My God! The hill in the middle of her lawn was now taller than she was!

The shovelling sound became louder, and the dirt on the hill trembled and slipped. Had an earthquake caused this strange upheaval? thought Dimpy. She suspended thought as huge pink paws with foot long claws thrust from the top of the hole, to be followed by a pink, sniffing snout, and tiny eyes and ears. The giant mole Muldvarp “mud tosser” sat up in his hole and stared at her, blinking. Was this because the light was too strong, or to clear mud from his eyes? Dimpy turned and ran, but a message caught her mind.

“Don’t go,” said Muldvarp. “We need to talk.”

Dimpy felt speechless but managed to say, “What about?”

“You worry too much,” said Muldvarp. “You shouldn’t. What’s the point? What do you think would happen to me if I worried constantly? I mean, because of my tiny ears and eyes I can hardly hear or see. That means I must remain underground to stay safe from predators. But there’s not much oxygen down there so I make do by re-using what I inhaled above ground. There also isn’t any good food down there so I eat earthworms. They fall into my tunnels and I run to catch them. What if I’m hungry and there’s no worms? Well, I paralyse them with saliva whenever I catch them, and store them in underground larders. And what if I get grit in my teeth that ruins my meal? Well, I hold the worms carefully between my paws and squeeze out their dirt before dining. What if my tunnels collapse? It’s my duty to keep them clear. They keep the energy of ley lines, chi, and kundalini flowing, not to mention soil aeration. So you see I have plenty to worry about, but instead I just get on with things and everything works out.”

From where Dimpy stood, the molehill looked bigger than distant Mt. Negra. She realized then that it was all about perspective. As an art historian she should have known better. Her mole wasn’t malignant, and she wouldn’t lose her job, and her daughter wouldn’t be orphaned and become emotionally scarred.

Muldvarp waved a giant pink paw and eased back into his hole. The next morning Dimpy saw that the mole on her face had disappeared.

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One Response to “Muldvarp”

  1. A very nice illustration of “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

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