The Groundhog

The Groundhog

Last Spring my garden and I were introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Groundhog. My broccoli plants were in full vigor and close to harvest when I noticed that they appeared to be getting smaller. At first, I thought I was imagining things, but the next day I came out to check on my favorite veggie again and there was no denying that the incredible shrinking broccoli disease had taken over my garden!

I examined the broccoli plants closely and noticed that something was eating them in a very precise way. I scratched my head wondering who or what was sneaking into Mrs. McGregor’s garden when I noticed a gaping hole in the center of my vegetable garden about eight inches in diameter that was hidden by my tomato plants.

I called my dad right away. “Sounds like you have a groundhog problem, Shelley.”

“What can I do about?” I asked.

“Your Aunt Phyllis uses Juicy Fruit gum to get rid of ‘em.”

Say what?

“Get a few packs and put the gum in the hole,” he continued. “She says the groundhogs will eat the gum. They don’t like it and will leave your garden.”

While all of this was going on, I looked up the meaning of groundhog to see what its message could possibly mean for me. It mentioned nothing about broccoli.

  • Groundhog is a symbol for going deeper within your self.
  • Its appearance can be a sign that you will start learning something new.
  • Since groundhog doesn’t fully mature for two years, it might take you two years until your study comes to completion.
  • It is a symbol for keeping strong boundaries.
  • Because it hibernates, the symbol represents death and rebirth, so it is a good time to meditate and reflect.
  • Groundhog is also a time to pay attention to your dreams and for exploring altered states of consciousness.

I meditated and used my animal communication skills to connect with the groundhogs that were raiding my garden. I firmly asked them to leave, and their response was, Heck no! They had a family on the way and had hit a gold mine with my garden (I was a single plot of twenty plots in a community garden).

Later that night, I quietly snuck into my garden with a flashlight and threw about 20 sticks of Juicy Fruit gum down the hole. But the next morning, two of my broccoli plants were nibbled down to stubs and the gum was littered around the hole.

Determined to rescue my garden from the broccoli-HOGS, I threw ammonia drenched socks into the hole and filled it up with dirt. A new hole appeared right next to the old one the very next day. I then set a have-a-heart trap with their favorite fruit. A week later, more broccoli plants disappeared but the fruit lay rotting and untouched.

Important animal messages aside, I was fuming.

Then I discovered fox urine in Home Depot. Fox is the natural enemy of a groundhog (which adds more meaning to the message). I put the smelly stuff around the garden and voila! No more groundhog. I managed to save one plant and it was the tastiest broccoli I ever ate.

Shelley Shayner
author@shelleyshayner.com

Shelley is a published author who writes fantasy stories for kids and nonfiction for adults, as well as personal essays on her blog including; art, humor and animal symbolism. She’s also an illustrator and is currently working on illustrations for her novel and creating fantasy coloring book art.

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