The Vegetarian overheard the Mole Killer telling her sister that two of the traps had sprung.  She froze, letting the two others walk ahead.  In the rain she stood in her hoodie, turned away, shocked and distraught.  The rage built up and erupted, foaming over, red and raw.

The Mole Killer is a despicable, disgusting, revolting old hag.  She is responsible for the starving babies waiting in vain for their Daddy to come home when he has been squashed by the evil trap.   How could the Mole Killer have behaved in such a vile way.  Did she have no feelings?

The car loomed, and the three got in, the Vegetarian folding her limbs around herself next to the Mole Killer, tied in knots, taut until the pressure burst.

The Vegetarian wailed and screamed and flailed and thrashed, overcome by her awful thoughts of those dear little mole babies waiting and waiting.   Tears ran down her face and her voice was hoarse from the effort of expelling her anger.  Again and again she railed at the Mole Killer.

The Mole Killer told her the countryside was cruel, that sometimes animals had to be killed for humans.   The Vegetarian was no longer a small child, protected from the ugly reality of death.  The Vegetarian’s boots, for example, had required the death of a sheep.  The boots came off before you could say Vegetarian, and were thrown angrily against the windscreen, from where the Mole Killer removed them not wanting to add the Mole Killer and the Vegetarian to the list of casualties.  The Vegetarian tossed them behind her into the rear seat and her sister’s lap, and continued her rant.  Her sister ventured a reference to soldiers – to the people they killed, and to the families left waiting for someone who was never going to come home.  Outside the rain fell through the black night, and things were bleak.

The Mole Killer went into sponge mode and just soaked it all up, resisting the temptation to open the throttle on her Fast Car and unleash her own aggression.  It hurt, being called all those things, and it was tough remaining relatively calm.  The Mole Killer stooped as low as she dared – she challenged the Vegetarian to reconcile her naive views on abortion with the death of a mole or two, and the Vegetarian began to subside.  She conceded that she didn’t want the whole of the green lawns to be like acne on a teenager.  But couldn’t the moles be persuaded to go away?  The Mole Killer explained that these traps were a last resort, that they had already tried a device that emitted a noise that moles cannot stand, but that the moles had persisted.   She resolved to look up the life cycle of a mole, and willed Amazon to wing to her the guide she had ordered a day or two ago for desperate parents of teenagers.  She felt desperate.  Things are bad, but probably no worse than when the Vegetarian’s sister was the same age.  No worse, but different.

Much later the Vegetarian is persuaded to go to bed if the Mole Killer looks up the life cycle of the mole and comes and tells her before she goes to sleep.  Full of trepidation the Mole Killer types “mole life cycle” into Google, and cannot quite believe her luck.  Moles only have one litter of babies each year and they are born between April and May.  She shows the Vegetarian who cannot bear the suspense and has crept out of her bedroom.  In Black and White.  The Vegetarian reads and then holds out her hand to the Mole Killer: “Do you promise, do you absolutely promise, that between April and May you will not put down any mole traps?”.

The Mole Killer thinks she has been let off lightly, all things considering, and thanks God for Google, and so holds out her hand, and the deed is done.  The Vegetarian now awaits the return of her father, the Mole Killer’s husband, who will have to make a similar promise or face the full force of the Vegetarian’s rage.

Advertisements