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A Crazy Groundhog Lived on My Roof

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 in 2015 BG (Before Groundhog). Yes, this is my roof.

The burrow is right in front of the tulips -- or where they were in 2015 BG (Before Groundhog). Yes, this is my roof.

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.


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.

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 gotta 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.

Scroll to Continue

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)

Hole dug in the dry dirt

Hole dug in the dry dirt

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.


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. I certainly hope the little nuisances enjoyed their feasts. Only the elephantine yuccas remain. I guess the spiny leaves and stems discourage even the most determined rodent.

Groundhogs dig many tunnels to and from their burrows. In addition to the tunnel in the front flower bed and the tunnel into the greenhouse, we found one dug into our atrium and a very large one dug into the side of the mountain on the vacant wooded lot next door. The atrium tunnel was a small one, and I saw a chuckling escape into it one day when I stepped out of our front door. Oh, no, I thought, now even the babies are tunneling. Even I was starting to get worried. This was more serious than a family of moles.

Corner of the greenhouse

The greenhouse is attached to our house. This big tunnel constituted 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.

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


One hot summer day in 2018, we found Matilda's body on our back deck. She was apparently trying to make it home via the greenhouse tunnel. We don't know why she died, but hopefully, she had lived out her lifespan and died a natural death. She would have been elderly by groundhog standards. There were no marks on her body and no evidence of poison. We figured that the chucklings would hang around to plague us, but we never saw any of them again after their mother's death. They really were cute little things, and I would have missed them if they had not been so destructive.

The groundhog is in the very center of the photo

The groundhog is in the very center of the photo

A closeup. Few details, but the outline of the groundhog is visible. It is a humid day and the window is fogged over.

A closeup. Few details, but the outline of the groundhog is visible. It is a humid day and the window is fogged over.

Update 2020 -- A Whistle Pig in My Atrium

Apparently I wrote the Epilog too soon. I was sitting at my computer in my office accompanied by my little black buddy, Tas Too, who was occupying his favorite spot on the printer table by the window. Tas doesn't meow, but he makes a sound like a click, usually a "yik". I heard him yikking at something outside and looked to see what was in the atrium. Probably a bird, I thought, but it didn't have feathers and it was big and gray.

At first I thought that somehow our other cat, Cici, had gotten outside. Then I realized it was much larger than Cici. It was a groundhog eating the blackberry vines that Larry had promised to cut in the atrium. She/he/it, for a better word, hung around for several minutes, allowing me to get a couple of photos through the fogged window. Then it ambled off in the direction of a tunnel that a chuckling had dug through the bottom of the atrium a couple of years ago. That means that one or more groundhogs had tunneled under our house because the atrium is completely surrounded by concrete.

This groundhog was as large as Mother Matilda, probably between 30 and 40 lbs., which means that we will have to scout for a groundhog before we let the cats out into the atrium for a little sunshine and nibbling their favorite grass. Meanwhile, Tas stopped his clicking and plopped back down. Even he realized he was no match for an animal about four times his weight.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Doris James MizBejabbers


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 16, 2020:

They are interesting and destructive. Thanks for reading, Umesh.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 16, 2020:

Interesting story. Groundhogs living so near.

Robert Sacchi on August 26, 2020:

You may see it advertised one of these days.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 26, 2020:

No, I don't remember it. I think I would have liked it enough to remember. Thanks.

Robert Sacchi on August 25, 2020:

No, it was circa 1980. The premise of the commercial series was a giant armadillo was sucking up all the Lone Star.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 25, 2020:

I don't recall ever seeing that commercial, Robert. Was it maybe a half-time show commercial? I don't watch sports if it was.

Robert Sacchi on August 24, 2020:

In Caddyshack the groundskeeper, Bill Murray, was trying, unsuccessfully to kill a groundhog.

Do you or Peggy Woods remember the Lone Star commercial about the giant armadillo?

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 24, 2020:

Yes, Peggy, I know all about armadillos from living in West Texas and New Mexico for 8 years in a previous life. I'd never seen an armadillo before. Then when I moved back to Arkansas, I discovered that they had migrated here by 1970, and the highways were full of those hit by cars.

I was definitely wrong about the groundhogs moving on. This afternoon, I heard my little male cat, Tas, "clicking" at something outside the window. It was a huge groundhog, apparently one of Matilda's children or grandchildren in our atrium. That must be why the snake moved out. In a few days I will have to update this hub to make the correction and post the photo I took through the window.

Thanks for reading and your comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 24, 2020:

I can see by your map that groundhogs do not live in Texas. When we lived in Wisconsin many years ago, we never had a problem with them. We do have plenty of armadillos in Texas, however. They can dig holes when they are looking for grubs to eat, and the dirt is so widely scattered that it is impossible to refill the hole without buying more dirt. My mother had that problem for a while, forcing us to make many trips to the local nursery. Ha!

I am glad for you that the groundhogs finally moved on. We had squirrels in our attic one time, but that is another story! Ha!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 17, 2020:

Since I've never seen Caddyshack, I don't know how to respond to this comment, Robert. Except that I know you mean it to be funny.

Robert Sacchi on August 17, 2020:

Seems your version of Caddyshack.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 03, 2018:

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 from the beautiful south on April 03, 2018:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 09, 2017:

Yep, not a happy camper.

Jennifer Saxton-Sweet on September 09, 2017:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 08, 2017:

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.

Jennifer Saxton-Sweet on September 08, 2017:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on June 13, 2017:

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.

Arthur Russ from England on June 13, 2017:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 29, 2017:

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.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on May 29, 2017:

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:)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 03, 2017:

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 from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 26, 2016:

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.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 26, 2016:

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

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 01, 2016:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 21, 2016:

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.

Lana Adler from California on April 20, 2016:

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 :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 24, 2016:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 23, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 23, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 23, 2016:

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 from Texas on March 23, 2016:

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

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 23, 2016:


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 from England on March 23, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 16, 2016:

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 from Oklahoma on March 12, 2016:

Very amusing.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 07, 2016:

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 from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on March 07, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 06, 2016:

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.

Audrey Howitt from California on March 05, 2016:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 22, 2016:

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.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on February 21, 2016:

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 garden is under about a foot of snow!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 21, 2016:

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.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on February 20, 2016:

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 However, it is cute so I may have to resort to growing cacti.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 18, 2016:

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 from southern USA on February 17, 2016:

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.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 17, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 17, 2016:

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.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 17, 2016:

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?

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 12, 2016:

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 from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on February 12, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 11, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 11, 2016:

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 from Shelbyville, Tennessee on February 11, 2016:

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 from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on February 10, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

Funny, Paula, the snake is gone now.

manatita44 from london on February 08, 2016:

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

Missy Smith from Florida on February 08, 2016:

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! :)

Suzie from Carson City on February 08, 2016:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on February 08, 2016:

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

Suzie from Carson City on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 08, 2016:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 08, 2016:

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.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on February 08, 2016:

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.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 07, 2016:

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".

Suzie from Carson City on February 07, 2016:

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 from USA on February 07, 2016:

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

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on February 07, 2016:

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 from London on February 07, 2016:

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.

Ann Carr from SW England on February 07, 2016:

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.


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