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A Crazy Groundhog Lived on My Roof

Updated on December 30, 2017
MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers has been a professional writer/editor for all of her adult life. Before that, she was just a little girl storyteller.

I'll show the suckers who's boss!

Yes, you read that right!

A groundhog set up housekeeping on my roof.

She dug herself a huge burrow and had a litter of babies that are now plaguing us. If you haven’t been following my other articles, I live in an underground house on a hilltop overlooking the Arkansas River. We get all kinds of interesting things going on up here, spiders living in litterboxes, groundhogs on roofs, turtles falling into the atrium just to name a few. Yes, before you ask, we mow the roof.

It all started when I noticed a large hole dug in the dirt covering one of the domes that compose my house. The location is on one side of the dome, so this dirt is no more than 2 feet deep. I warned the lawn boy to be careful to not fall into the hole and break a leg while mowing the grass on the roof. We speculated over what kind of animal made the hole and decided that it was a groundhog. Moles don’t make holes that deep, and their tunnels are raised above the ground.

A few days later the hole had extended to beneath the flower bed. Later on in the summer, at least one-third of the flower bed was gone, and so were the flowers on one side. We have no idea what the groundhog did with the dirt, but she probably ate the tulip bulbs.

The flowerbed was pretty

The burrow is right in front of the tulips -- or where they were BG (Before Groundhog). Yes, this is my roof.
The burrow is right in front of the tulips -- or where they were BG (Before Groundhog). Yes, this is my roof. | Source

Groundhog's gotta go!

“I’m goin’ to kill that damned groundhog, she’s just doing too much damage,” my husband spouted. He went on to describe that she was probably pregnant and that there would be chucklings* that would add to the damage.

“No,” I protested, “you can’t kill her. She’s a living animal.”

“A living animal that needs to be dead,” He shouted back at me.

She survived, and today if I had it to do over, I might agree with him. Whether I won the argument or not, or whether he couldn’t catch her out of the den, I don’t know, but I think it was the latter.

Surprising behavior

One nice warm summer evening, and I might add, daylight savings time, I drove in after a very satisfying Saturday of shopping, and there sat a big fat gray animal on the roof just a few feet from the railing that keeps animals like her from falling in (See photo). At first I wasn’t sure what it was. The only groundhogs I’d ever seen were not solid gray. When I was a child, a friend’s parents used a groundhog pelt the color of a raccoon or a tabby cat for a rug in their bedroom. But still, I reasoned that the animal nonchalantly sitting on the roof must be the groundhog.

Since I drive a Prius hybrid that noiselessly glides into the driveway, she was not frightened by the noise, or at least I thought that was why she didn’t run. I sat dumbfounded for a few moments, which probably wasn’t as long as it seemed to me. She looked at me and did not move a hair. I wasn't very far away, but I couldn’t read the expression on her face (do groundhogs have expressions?). Her body language was another story. She went from nonchalance to insolence in a heartbeat. “This is my home, and I’m not budging,” she made her point quite well.

This was a photo op I could not miss. As I fumbled for my purse to retrieve my smart phone to get the picture, my husband came rumbling up in his noisy Dodge Ram. I figured that the noise would scare her off, but low and behold, she gave me a most insolent look and started a slow amble toward her hole. Then she stopped and glared at me, and I would swear on a stack of Bibles that she was daring me to try to run her off. I’m just glad she didn’t have a pistol, or she might have pulled it out and shot me.

Source

Not your garden variety behavior

Field biologists report that groundhogs may hide when they see, smell or hear the observer. Matilda's behavior was not typical.

Have you ever heard of a groundhog living on a roof?

See results

Anyway, she turned back, finished the walk to her burrow and disappeared inside. I was surprised because when Mr. B got out of the truck, I thought she would tuck tail and run, but she didn’t. Every step was a study in dignity. It was then I named her Matilda. All dignified animals got to have a name.

I was flabbergasted! “Did you see that?” I asked.

“Yes, I saw that #$%^ animal. I wish I’d had my gun,” he grumbled. Every time Matilda was mentioned around our house, his reaction was the same. Not thinking about the chucklings, I agreed that he could trap Matilda and carry her to a new home at least 20 miles away. But lucky for Matilda and unlucky for us, our live animal trap was too small for an animal as large as Matilda to crawl inside.

Gray groundhog

I can assume only that Matilda raised her chucklings undisturbed by the local cats and dogs, including the two little yappers that live across the street. Heck, she could have eaten them for dinner had she been so inclined.

We’d more or less forgotten about the groundhogs until one August evening I pulled into the driveway just in time to see one of the little ones come over the rooftop. As soon as it saw my car, it doubled back on itself, just like in the cartoons, and disappeared back the way it came. I had no idea that groundhogs could move so fast. We sighted a chuckling or two a few times after that incident, but unlike their mother, they were skittish. Then with the onset of winter we forgot about them.


Back of my underground house

Groundhog's new home under the greenhouse (on right)
Groundhog's new home under the greenhouse (on right) | Source
Hole dug in the dry dirt
Hole dug in the dry dirt | Source
This is a toy wheelbarrow from my childhood and my father's antique rake. They are partially covered by the groundhog's diggings.
This is a toy wheelbarrow from my childhood and my father's antique rake. They are partially covered by the groundhog's diggings. | Source

Surprise!

I thought that Matilda and the chucklings moved on, but then spring came. At least one of them invaded a room that was originally a greenhouse. It has a dirt floor in which the former owner grew plants, or at least attempted to grow them in the red clay. The South end of the floor now has a furrow as deep and wide as the former flowerbed outside, and most of the plants that we wintered in the room disappeared, leaving bare pots. Only the elephantine yuccas remain. I guess the spiny leaves and stems discourage even the most determined rodent.


Corner of the greenhouse

This room is attached to our house. This constitutes an invasion of MY personal space. I intend to convert it to a sunroom with new windows and a tile floor. This time a groundhog has gone too far. This means war! I agree with Mr. B ... the #$%^&* groundhog's gotta go!



Typical stompin' grounds of groundhogs

Red is the habitation range of groundhogs.
Red is the habitation range of groundhogs. | Source

Some facts about groundhogs

  • Scientific name is Marmota monax, but they are also known as woodchucks or whistlepigs.
  • Largest member of the squirrel family (a ground squirrel?)
  • Average weight of a groundhog is 6 to 12 lbs, but in areas with few or no predators, they can grow as large as 31 lbs.
  • Average lifespan is three years in the wild, but they can live up to six years
  • Litters usually number about six
  • Young groundhogs are sometimes known as chucklings
  • Groundhogs hibernate

© 2016 Doris James-MizBejabbers

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    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      8 months ago from Beautiful South

      Hi, Jackie. We would have had to buy a bigger trap because Matilda couldn't get into that one. Arkansas Game and Fish refused to come get her. I guess I need to write an epilogue to the story. My husband found her, or at least we think it was she, dead on our back deck. It appears that she was trying to get to her burrow inside the greenhouse and just didn't make it. Since the average lifespan of a groundhog is 3 years, she may have died of old age. There were no marks on her and her body didn't exhibit symptoms of poisoning.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      8 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Loved this story!

      I have seen my fair share of them and I am afraid of those things. I think I would set a cage trap and take then to the dog pound! Or as far in the woods as I could go.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      15 months ago from Beautiful South

      Yep, not a happy camper.

    • JSaxton profile image

      Jennifer Saxton-Sweet 

      15 months ago

      Wow....sounds like you have your hands full.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      15 months ago from Beautiful South

      Yes, yes, and double yes! They've eaten most of my plants from the greenhouse, and I will have to keep my new plants in the house this winter or lose them. But then my Tas Too tries to chew on those in the house. Thanks for stopping by.

    • JSaxton profile image

      Jennifer Saxton-Sweet 

      15 months ago

      I love it!! Do you still have issues with the pesky critters?

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      18 months ago from Beautiful South

      Arthur, we are learning how destructive this little clan can be. They are now channeling through the hillside under my house. I don't know how that's going to turn out. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 

      18 months ago from England

      Fascinating read, very informative; I've learnt from it.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      18 months ago from Beautiful South

      Mona, that's part of the problem with these niche sites. One of the first articles I wrote is about my underground house. it's in the dengarden site and includes photos. We aren't supposed to put links to our articles in the comments, but you can click on my profile and look for the article. It may surprise you. Thank you for reading about Matilda and commenting.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      18 months ago from Philippines

      Interesting that you live in an underground house. Although the groundhog story was most compelling, an article about your house with photos would be very interesting too:)

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      22 months ago from Beautiful South

      Hi, Glen, thanks for stopping by. From what I've learned...and seen, groundhogs dig a large network of connecting tunnels. I know of three that she dug.

      Groundhog Day was also my mother's birthday. Sadly, we found Matilda dead on our back deck last summer. She apparently was trying to make it to her hole in the greenhouse and there was no indication of why she died. I wrote her obituary, but I forgot to publish it, so I guess I'll have to resurrect it now that this season raises interest in groundhogs.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Today was Groundhog Day, what a perfect time to discover your hub. I enjoyed your story about Matilda. I didn't realize that groundhogs dig such deep holes. You sure had a lot of problems with this one. She definitely had a mind of her own and she knew what she wanted. I'm sorry to hear that she ate all your plants in the soon-to-be greenhouse. What a nuisance.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Vespa, I'm sorry to report that Matilda died a few months ago on our back porch. She was trying to get to her burrow under our greenhouse and didn't make it in. We don't know what happened. I have her obit written, but I just haven't had time to post it. Thank you for reading and laughing.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Patricia, that was a stinky situation, LOL. We had a coworker who said that skunks moved in under her church. She was laughing because when the exterminators came "they charged by the skunk". Thank you for your funny comment. BTW, I've had some problems with receiving and posting on HP, and I think I answered your comment months ago and I just now noticed that it didn't "take". I hope my problems are over.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      2 years ago from Peru, South America

      Matilda was quite a determined creature! Your story made me laugh. Glad everything worked out in the end. : )

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from sunny Florida

      What a story...obviously your home was just irresistible !!! We had skunks move under our house one winter!. O my...that was a stinky situation. Angels are on the way. ps

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Lana, I didn't know which to do either. At first I welcomed her, but then her destructiveness and that of her children became a real problem. I haven't seen her around in awhile, and the den seems abandoned, but those darned kids of hers.... Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm just glad you don't have this problem.

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Adler 

      2 years ago from California

      Oh god, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...Matilda's got an attitude, and she's not budging! I've never had that situation where I live, I don't know how to establish the boundaries with wild animals when they invade your space. The only creatures that shamelessly invade my space all the time are my dogs lol. I do hope though that the situation will be resolved peacefully :)

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Ruby, I'm glad to have your comment. I would feel sorry for any animal that was trying to save its family. One time I even fed hungry mice wandering around in the snow looking for food. I would definitely check the water table and the yearly rainfall before building an underground house in Illinois unless I lived on a hill, then I would put it on top, not the side like ours. I do feel safe during tornadoes, though. I think we have decided to repair it instead of abandoning it. I just wish my half acre was a yard instead of a steep hill. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm glad Shyron shared this. It was a funny read. Since I downsized, ( 10 mo. ago. ) I haven't been bothered with groundhogs. I saw one with all of her babies' on her back, coming out of the low land because of high water. I felt sorry for her, trying to save her family. She disappeared into higher woods. I have always wanted a house underground because of tornados. I'm trying to wrap my mind around mowing the roof. lol.. Enjoyed!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Shyron, I loved your verse, wish I could write good poetry. I could stick this one under the hood of my car, except that I drive a hybrid. LOL. Hope your squirrel tries that. Yes, I'm feeling better, and I think warm weather will make things even better, except for the groundhog, of course. Thanks for the good wishes.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Nell, she sure did! If I hadn't been so gobsmacked by her actions, I might have really gotten mad! Thanks for coming by, my friend. It's always good to hear from someone across the pond.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      MzB, I do hope you are feeling better, and glad you did not leave HP.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      MzB,

      I have to laugh, and cry at the same time

      While trying to put my thoughts in rhyme

      Because it reminds me of the one with no name

      That almost drove me insane

      It wanted to live underneath my garage

      For lack of a better lodge

      When she/he got trapped under the hood of my car

      Decided to run away very, very far

      *

      *

      Right now I am in a life or death battle with an insolent squirrel, who is attempting to get into my attic.

      Blessings to you and Mr. B. and the best of luck.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      lol! love the way you wrote this! the idea of that groundhog staring at you then sasheying away all slow really made me laugh! but I do get your point, it must be so darn annoying, great house though! lol!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Dang, Larry, I replied to you several days ago, but it didn't show up. Sorry. May be all that trouble we are having with our UVerse at home. We don't have service half the time any more, but satellite was even worse. So anyway, thanks for the brief comment.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very amusing.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Thank you, Nadine, that's all I need now, a baboon to come into my house and wreak havoc. Come to think of it, one might improve the place, especially if he threw things out the door. My husband is always "monkeying" around with something, and he never throws anything away. I appreciate your interesting comment, and the compliment about the photos.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      That was an entertaining article on groundhogs, which we do not have in South Africa, but your story did remind me of our baboons. They do create havoc in peoples gardens and when they come into the houses, Oh dear that is even worse. Loved your photos.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Right, Audrey, except that they are not pet material. They can bite viciously if cornered or picked up. Did you see the footage of the groundhog taking a bite of the ear of the man holding him? I think it was the mayor of the town during a ceremony on Groundhog Day, but it wasn't Philadelphia. Fortunately he wasn't badly bitten.

      I've just discovered that they tunneled all the way from our flower bed to the outside of the hill and, of course, under our house into the greenhouse. If they keep it up, they could cause our house to slide down the hill. I'll try to take a photo and post it when it's light enough to take one. Thanks for your comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      2 years ago from California

      They are truly amazing creatures--I would want to make them into pets I am afraid! When I looked at your map of their stomping grounds it made sense to me---if they didn't hibernate, I doubt they would be able to survive

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Oh, no! A foot of snow! We've had the warmest winter ever here in Arkansas. We broke records in some cities for high wintertime temperatures, and I've still been threatening to move to the Virgin Islands. Husband won't agree because of the hurricanes. He'd rather hole up in an underground house and watch the tornadoes follow the river below us. If I ever get to visit Canada, it will be in summer. I love photos of your beautiful scenery.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      MizBeJabbers, We love having our U.S. neighbors visit! I lived winters in Ohio with my hockey trainer husband in the late 70's and we enjoyed the the wonderful people as well as the lovely scenery in the countryside on drives out of the city. I did miss the change in seasonal weather like we have here. I guess I would have to take the cacti in for the winter...my garden is under about a foot of snow!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Scribenet, cacti in Canada? I guess there are some varieties that would survive there. I've wanted to visit your beautiful country for years, but just haven't had the chance. This one is really getting bad, or at least her family is. I'm going to try some of the hints people wrote in the comments and hope they work. Thank you for your interest in my hub and the comment.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi ...I had to come and read your account of your groundhog. My groundhog is still around and vying with rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks to eat the showiest flowers as quickly as they open. I am doomed because the newest burrow opens right into my flower garden...lol. However, it is cute so I may have to resort to growing cacti.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Thanks, Bravewarrior, I hope you enjoy it.

      Faith, yes I do have a hub about my underground house, complete with photos and a link in this one. Since it is made up of domes, it is really hard to describe. We are at the edge of a woods, and I don't understand why she would want to build in the open when she has the whole woods to live in and roam. I guess she liked the instant breakfast in my flower bed. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      2 years ago from southern USA

      Hahaha MixB,

      What a great story and how cool is your home! I don't know if you've written a hub about your underground home, but I find it fascinating, as I'm sure many would.

      Well, that groundhog did cross the line! But, he is most likely confused being your house is underground and all LOL ...

      Oh, I see you have a link.

      This is an entertaining hub. I've never seen a ground hog, but we have plenty of cute little chipmunks running around everywhere.

      That's a new one, mowing the roof.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      MizB, I fully intend to read that article. I clicked on the link when I read this, but was on my lunch hour and didn't have much time left. I'll definitely check it out.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Bravewarrior, the sides and roof are underground, but I have nice large windows and get more light inside than the average conventional dwelling. Once inside, you never know that it is underground. It has its drawbacks, for instance, it leaks and was built on the side of a hill in such a manner that it actually floods. I have a full article on this if you want to read it and see the photos. I know we can't provide links in comments, but since you asked, I think that would be the best way to answer your question. I do have a link in this article near the top that you can click on the words underground house. Please let me know if it doesn't work. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I've never seen a groundhog in person. I would be intrigued, but I can see why you'd be annoyed. I'm curious about your house. Is it completely underground? No windows? Don't you get claustrophobic?

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      I don't think so either, Mel. I really hope they are gone. I had no idea they could be so destructive, and I'm glad my experience is an education for you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      2 years ago from San Diego California

      I learned more about groundhogs than I ever wanted to know, just by reading this. It's too late now, but you could have sold tickets to wait for the groundhog to show his shadow or not on Feb 2nd. Dixie version of Punxsutawney Phil. I'm sure you get that all the time when you discuss your groundhog. Anyhow, I don't think you can co-habitate with this rodent very much longer. Fantastic hub!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Somethingblue, if it makes you feel better: I opened your hub and then work came in and I put it aside to read when I have more time. (My work isn't steady, it comes and goes.) I haven't forgotten about it. I will finish this work probably by noon today and will read it then. I hate that I disappointed you, but you always put so much food for thought in your works that I like to have time to do them justice. Seriously, there are some hubs that I breeze through, but yours are not among them. Believe me, it is still on my agenda to read.

      I definitely appreciate your reading and commenting on my misadventure.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Cris, a raccoon sleeping in the snow on a roof? Poor thing, I guess it was sunning itself in the cold. I wonder where its den is. That is a really interesting story, and I'm glad you shared it with us. I hope your neighbor didn't get too agitated. We have all kinds of animals hanging around where I live, and the only unwelcome ones are the coyotes that hang out along the river. Thank you for reading and sharing your story.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 

      2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Its OK to kill an animal if you're going to eat it, I thought for sure you would be the first to comment on my Giants in America article, after all you inspired me to write it.

      What no ground hog recipes?

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Just last week, when we had quite some snow here, my neighbour caught me taking some snaps of their house. Well, actually I was taking a picture of a creature, relaxing (probably sleeping)on their roof. As the roof was covered with snow, I couldn't really figure out what was it. Since, I was caught in the act, I waved at her and shouted, "sorry, there was something resting on your roof". The thing moved as my neighbour opened her door to see what was it. It was a giant racoon! And, she ran back to the house. No, not the racoon. My neighbour. :)

      Apparently, she's scared of them but the racoon have found a good spot to rest. I watched the racoon as it glides from the roof to the firewall of their house clinging to the water spout, which the giant racoon broke. :( Then I ran back to my house. Well, because it was too damn cold to be out in the snow.

      As for the racoon, I don't see it anymore up on the roof. Hopefully, it's still alive as I often see a lot of road kills. These creatures just like the groundhogs can be really cute and interesting but vicious and pest at the same time.

      Well, thank you for this most enjoyable tale. Glad that Mr. B didn't really kill it but sad that the tulips and maybe some more beauties up on your roof have been destroyed.

      Pity, there's no more thumbs up here on HP. :) Good read indeed!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Thanks, Manatita. The house is interesting, but it's not really cool, what with all the leaks, the spiders and the groundhogs. I love the concept, though and being safe through tornadoes. Thank you for the visit and the comment, my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Missy, yes in fact I wrote a whole nuther hub on it. We aren't supposed to promote our other hubs in comments, but if you go to my profile page you can access it and the photos. Thank you for your interest and your comment.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Funny, Paula, the snake is gone now.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Interesting place to live, Miz. Cool, but not the groundhog though. Still, glad that you saved its life. Delightful Hub!

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 

      2 years ago from Florida

      This was a delightful hub to read. I laughed and felt for you at the same time. The conversation you had with your husband was so funny to me. lol.

      Wow, MizBejabbers! Your house is awesome! Do you have more pictures of it? That is so interesting to me that a house could be underground like that. It's very neat!

      Great Hub! I loved it! :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! SNAKES? Oh please MzB.....not snakes. I HAVE to draw the line somewhere! LOL

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Yes, they do, Demas. I have a feeling that's where so many of my bulbs in the flowerbed went. I just hope they didn't eat my Derwydd daffodil, but I'm afraid they did. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Paula, that is so funny about the rats, and I’m not surprised that you would fall in love with them. My kids had white rats, but they got out one night and our cat created a tragedy. I told the boys that they got away through the hole under our dryer. I am surprised that his cat plays with his rats. Right, we should never prejudge. I never thought I would pet a snake, but I passed by the king snake that used to live under our rock steps and reached down and stroked it. It woke up and slithered back under the steps, but it didn’t try to bite. I guess it knew that we were friends.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      They love vegetable gardens, too! Darned if they don't!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL!! I'm glad that little mouse didn't wind up in the spaghetti sauce! When my 10 yr. old grandson told me he had new pets~~2 rats~ I told him that Grandma would not be coming to visit!! He was very serious & intent for me to "meet them." "Grandma, they're awesome, you'll LOVE them."

      Like a good Gram, I gave in & braved an introduction. I shocked myself. They are the cutest, funniest, most friendly little creatures! One is all white and the other is Blk & wht, both females. They have a cat who PLAYS with them!

      I learn something new & somewhat crazy everyday! ME, allowing a rat to crawl up my arm and across my shoulders & tickle me.....? I swear MzB, I would have bet you a thousand bucks that would NEVER happen.

      There's a moral here. My grandson taught me not to pre-judge based on unwarranted perceptions & reputations. He's 10.....I'm 67. Shame on me.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, yes it really is annoying, especially when I found my toy wheelbarrow covered in dirt. It was standing straight up against the wall, so there was at least 15 inches covering it. I guess this is one of the annoyances of living on the edge of the woods, too. We get all kinds of critters. The last couple of days, an eagle flew over my car while I was driving the road to my house. There’s a lot of beauty here, too, so I shouldn’t complain. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Phoenix, I guess everybody has moles. We had them when we lived in the city. I’ll bet your mole ate the carrots in the farmer’s field before Bugs Bunny had a chance at them. I really hope Matilda doesn’t come back. Her progeny is wreaking enough havoc. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      John, an underground house might be great in Australia unless the climate is as wet there as it is here. Wombats, huh, I didn’t realize they were a burrowing critter. I wonder if they are kin to groundhogs. We have a coon problem here, too, along with possums. Speaking of pythons, we had king snakes living under our stone steps for several years. They were very tame, but we really missed our little frogs in the atrium pond because the snakes ate them. I’m glad the snakes moved on. I hope the chucklings (chuckle) do too. Thanks for reading and your interesting comment.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Paula, I’m glad you liked my story about Matilda. She has really presented quite a problem, maybe six more of them. I can’t believe how quick they can be when they want to be. The chuckling that came over the roof was as fast as any fraidy cat I’ve ever seen. I guess it had been to the woods and was on its way back to Mama’s den when I scared it off. It makes me wonder if Matilda is an older groundhog because she seemed comfortable (but not tame) around humans. I would love to help this family find a new home, but they aren’t easy to trap.

      That is funny about your husband. I guess all men are alike when it comes to wild animals invading their space. Last night mine picked up a live mouse off the kitchen cabinet while he was cooking. He carried it outside and let it go. I told him it must be sick to let him pick it up – either sick or very tame. We have some interesting things going on around our house. Thank you for reading and your humorous comment.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Flourish Anyway, I assume that Matilda is still alive. The original invasion was a couple of years ago, and groundhogs in the wild don't have a very long life span. I don't know how old she was when she made her home on our roof. Thank you for the read and comment.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Randy, I don’t know what groundhog tastes like. There were five meats that my Dad never allowed on our table: groundhog, possum, coon, goat and sheep. I don’t know why groundhog because he was an avid squirrel hunter and the groundhog is just a big old ground squirrel. I think he said it had too wild a taste, but he probably didn’t know to remove the scent glands that will flavor the meat. I was grown before I ever tasted goat or lamb.

      The pelt that was in my friend’s parents’ bedroom was courtesy of my Dad. He brought home the groundhog from a squirrel hunt and said he was going to give it to them. I protested, but he said that we don’t eat groundhog. I was so jealous of that pelt rug once I put my bare feet into it. BTW I notice you live in GA. Groundhogs roam as far south as your state, so you’re lucky you don’t have them in your area. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Susie Jane, she is such a beautiful animal, I just couldn’t let that happen, but they are very destructive and I hope they have moved on. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Ann, they are either still in hibernation right now or they are gone. Supposedly they are supposed to come out and on February 2 look for their shadows. LOL Seriously, I hope they are gone because they are wrecking the place. I would like to see some English underground houses. Thanks for reading and commenting. You are always welcome here.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, pretty interesting AND annoying. We don't have them here and I'm grateful for that, although raccoons cause enough trouble, thank you very much. Still, thanks for sharing this, MizB....great read.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      My husband and I had a similar experience with a mole. Like you, I was against killing it. My husband captured the little critter and released him in a farmer's field on the edge of the village.

      Matilda certainly has a lot of nerve and I can't help but admire her for standing her ground. Here's hoping you catch and release her soon.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow MizB, I always wanted to live in an underground house, but that's another story. What a hide Matilda the groundhog has (nice name). If the underground house was in Australia, maybe it would be a wombat problem. Normally we get possums and carpet pythons in the roof here. Great hub. I hope you get the problem sorted somehow. p.s. nice name for babies "chucklings".

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well....I really enjoyed this story, MzB.....I laughed quite a bit, especially at your description of Mama Groundhog's attitude! LOL. Gotta be proud of a protective Mama.

      I can tell you for sure, I could literally "hear" your husband because mine, (Rest his soul) would have had the identical attitude. (& I would have objected as you did! LOL)

      Sounds like you have your work cut out to try and "help" this family of invaders to find a new home~~far away!. Cute story. Paula

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      This was a great story. I'm glad Matilda lives on. She's feisty and you have to respect that!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      What does groundhog taste like? :P

      Besides that, I enjoyed reading about creatures we don't have around here. Seems like there's always a destructive animal we have to abide wherever we live. Armadillos are ours...

    • Susie Jane profile image

      Susie Jane 

      2 years ago from London

      How amazing to live in a place where you can actually find a ground hog on your roof. This hub was very enjoyable. I'm glad you stopped your old man killing the poor thing. Love it.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      What an amazing creature! I've seen pics of them of course but never seen one for real. What cheek they have! But so cute.

      Great tale - are they still there?

      I love the idea of your house. We have a series here called Grand Designs and several underground houses have featured on that, all fascinating.

      Ann

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