Apparently this is a shrew, not a mole. The more you know...

WARNING: the following description is more morbid/ darker than what I what usually feature on this blog. If you don’t want to be grossed out today, please skip it.


There was a little blind shrew trapped in the New Providence train station underpass yesterday. He could tumble down the stairs, but he was too small to jump back up.

I got some thick yardwork gloves, a jar, some paper towels, and some cranberries, and I went to try to go rescue him.

That went badly.

I didn’t want to pick him up directly, for fear of accidentally crushing his tiny bones, or freaking out and flinging him against the underpass concrete. Instead, I baited the jar with cranberries and tried to coax him in.

He was unimpressed with my cranberries. Mostly he frantically sniffed at me and continued huddling in his little corner. At some point, I got too close; he shrieked at me and scampered-stretched-plopped, scampered-stretched-plopped down the rest of the stairs to the bottom.

In the narrow French drain of the concrete foundation, he found the corpse of another shrew, which had presumably gotten trapped in the underpass sometime before. He hauled the corpse into a corner and promptly started devouring it. Snicker snick snick snak snicker snick.

I emerged from the underpass for a few moments to give myself some air, contain my revulsion. But even from twenty feet away, the sounds got louder as he finished eating the soft tissue and started crunching the corpse’s tiny bones. CRINCH snick snicker CRUNCH snak snick snick.

I gave up and went home. Circle of life, I suppose. This new shrew will become a scavenged feast for the next shrew that mistakenly tumbles down those stairs.


One Comment to “Shrew”

  1. Nature, red in tooth and claw. People think life is tough, but out there in the wild, it really is.

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