The Gopher and the Mole: A Modern Fable

April 13, 2011 Posted by zachary

The Gopher and the Mole

The Gopher and The Mole

There once was a gopher and a mole who lived in a hole in the ground. It was a nice hole, provided them the comforts of food and shelter. A pleasant little hole that any burrowing animal would have loved to live in.

One day, the gopher looked around and decided that he was not satisfied with the size of the hole he lived in and began to dig a larger hole. Eventually the mole saw what the gopher was up to and decided that he wanted to increase the size of the hole as well.

Unfortunately, the mole did not agree with the gopher on exactly how they should be digging their hole. After all, they shared the hole and whatever decision one made the other had to live with as well. This disagreement caused much turmoil within the hole and both kept digging and digging.

Many years later, the gopher and the mole were looking at the much larger and deeper hole they had dug. Neither, was satisfied with the work of the other. Nor did they agree with the other on what course of action they should take. So they kept on digging.

A few more years later, the gopher and the mole were still digging. Yet it dawned on them both, they were digging themselves into a huge mess in which they seemed to be trapped. They finally agreed that something must be done. That was the extent of their agreement. Neither the gopher nor the mole would cede that the work each had done should be altered. They both blamed the other for the mess. The gopher was convinced that the mole should stop working on his own projects and help him with his. The mole felt the opposite.

Eventually, they came to a compromise. Both agreed they should reduce the amount of time they spent digging each day by thirty minutes. This would slow the pace of the mess they have created. While this agreement did nothing to change the current state of the once satisfactory hole, it at least ended the bickering.

The digging continued for many more years.

One day something happened neither saw coming. The hole they once called home collapsed. They looked around the small cavity that held their frightened selves. Then they panicked. They decided at this point to work together to help each other out of this predicament and began digging together.

Unfortunately, the many years of poor choices in when, where and how much to dig left them directly under a lake. With one great shove of dirt with the help of the other, a breach formed in the bed of the lake. In gushed the water and both the mole and the gopher drowned.

The moral of this story is: When you have a nice home with everything you need, don’t dig yourself into an unsustainable mess in the hopes of making your life better. If you do find yourself in such a mess, the best course of action is to stop digging and repair the mess before it collapses.

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