This is Deputy Digby Pancake. They don’t call me Digby for nothin’. And they don’t call me pancake for nothin’. But for once, I will be focusing today on the digging part of my name. You may wonder why I always look so happy. Except for the fact that I am so happy. I dig everything, y’all. I dig it. And the deeper I dig, the happier I am.
I have learned a lot from my brother, Sheriff Brickle on the secret of happiness when it comes to your own dirt hole and the digging of it. I have watched him for the last month here at Memaw Macaw’s house dig his hole. Deeper. And deeper. And deeper than that.
And usually, I would be too lazy to dig my own hole. But in fact, I just had to do it after a breakfast of eggies and pancakes. And I picked yesterday to do it. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. I dug so deep that my hole had its own zip code.
I dug so deep that I was quite proud of myself. And although I know that we are only here until Monday, and then we are back on the road again, I thought it was only appropriate that I put up a no trespassing sign. Because someone was trying to steal my dirt hole.
Gophy. Gophy the Gopher Turtle.
I knew his plan as soon as I saw him. There he was, being a gopher turtle on a Tuesday.
He was trying to act like he didn’t see my dirt hole, which I had worked so hard to dig. He was acting like he was heading out in the depths of the old farm field and that he wasn’t eyeing my dirt hole with his turtle eyeballs. He was acting like he had a better hole than I had. But I wasn’t falling for it. I haven’t traveled across this country five times to have my dirt hole stolen the day after I dug it. I have been to rivers deep. Mountains high. And this dirt hole was mine.
The Sheriff was watching the situation. And he was on it. On it like butter on a biscuit. On it like mayonnaise on a mayonnaise sandwich. On it like barking at a UPS truck. Whatever that means. But it means business.
So as he put out his arrest warrant of daggers across the yard to Gophy, I saw Gophy investigate his options. He could either steal my dirt hole, and who was I to argue with the teeth of a gopher, but I did not know if he had teeth, but I wasn’t taking the chance….or Gophy could turn around and head to his own tunnel, which I can only assume led to his house filled with turtle things. Like chairs for turtles and a couch for a turtle, and a TV for a turtle. Maybe a refrigerator filled with cold lettuce on ice and a jug of swamp water. I don’t even know where I get this stuff.
Gophy the Gopher Turtle thought about it for a second more. And after seeing the Sheriff arrest the UPS truck, he decided that his aspirations of adding on to his house would have to wait. At least until next week. And we all thought that was a very good idea. This hole wasn’t big enough for the both of us, and even if it was, I am not a good sharer. in fact, the thought that we have to leave here on Monday from Memaw Macaw’s house is making us all a little slower. Almost like Gophy. We are looking longer at the bottlebrush tree. We are staring a little harder at the grapefruit trees. Except for Brickle. He only knows how to stare at himself.
And as I watched Gophy the Gopher Turtle walk away, I wondered if it would be the last of our time together. Would it be the last duel for the dirt hole? And I knew it probably was. Things come in and out of our lives as fast as the Sheriff’s moods. It seems like we have been parked here forever, but in fact, it has been a month. And in that month, we met Lele. We met Tommy Cat. We met the bottlebrush tree, the palm tree and Gophy. And as we help pack up Memaw Macaw, we are packing away our own memories too. But it’s time to move on.
For Gophy the Gopher Turtle, this is where his home will always be. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else, and I suppose that must be a comforting thing. For us, we are off to new holes on Monday. But first, I plan to sit awhile. In my dirt hole that will be someone else’s dirt hole soon. Yes, Gophy. You can have it. I will sign over the papers. But not until Monday. Until then, Girl Person says to learn from my dirt hole. You see, if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Sometimes, we become so distracted by the bad things in life. We worry about money. We worry about health. We worry about what may come to be tomorrow. We could be focused on the sadness of leaving and missing our family, but we choose to enjoy what is around us for a few more days. Because these days will never be here again. How deep is the ocean? How blue is the sky? You have to look to find out.
Continuing to dig deeper doesn’t help anyone except maybe a gopher turtle named Gophy. And he already has a hole. So stay in yours and make it good. Just don’t dig any deeper.
-Deputy Digby Pancake