Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Party in the Hole

In my back yard, we have many distressing holes. Most of them are just anthills. I worry that some of them are spider holes. A few of them are large enough that a snake is not out of the question, but it’s a lot more likely that they are just gopher holes.

My point is that most of the holes at my house, though they seem worrisome, are really quite small and, like many things in my life, would not remotely impress an Australian.

Take this hole, for example. It’s large enough for a 40-pound dog to disappear into. I know this because I saw a dog that size disappear into it, trying to find the wombat that created it.

This happened on the property of Nancy’s son Phil, who is one of the extended family members we visited in Warragul. The hills in the area are dotted with wombat holes, and farms in Victoria have wombats the way rural America has raccoons. Phil says it’s not at all unusual to see wombats waddling around at night, but we were there during the afternoon, so we didn’t see any.

We did hear them, however. After the dog ran in, we could hear two sets of muffled growls coming from deep within the hillside. This was the dog and the wombat talking trash. After a few minutes, they apparently agreed to disagree, and Bonnie the dog came back out unscathed.

We just don’t have anything like this in Oakland, and if we did, my pets would want no part of it. I am reminded again that even the dogs are brave in Australia.

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