sb. the moldwarp talpaVariants: mowle, molleEtymology: This word is short for molde-warp
My clothing's fine as velvet rare,Though under earth my dwellings are;And when above it I appear,My enemies put me oft in fear.The gard'ner does at me repine,I spoil his works as he does mine.
The Mole.
Mole  (Talpa Europea ).—The mole is one of the most interesting of the smaller animals. It inhabits meadows, fields, gardens, and forests where it finds its food. It lives in the earth, and digs out its “runs,” at the same time throwing up mole-hills. The mole feeds on grubs, caterpillars, chrysalises, maggots, crickets, lizards, snakes, frogs, mice, and rats, and does not even spare its own kindred. The formation of its body, which is about six inches long, enables it to seize these different kinds of prey with ease; for it is cylindrical and wedge-like in shape, with a long, flexible snout, and very large fore paws, furnished with five strong nails. Its head is placed deep between the shoulders—no neck is visible; its eyes are very small, and covered with hair; and there are no exterior ears. Its hind paws are longer but weaker than the fore limbs, and its tail is short. Its fur consists of short, velvety hair.

The mole nearly always lives a solitary life. It is very quarrelsome and rapacious. The weasel, fox, marten, hedgehog, owl, buzzard, falcon, raven, the viper, and man all threaten its life. Against these enemies it is, however, well protected by its dark fur, by the keenness of its senses of hearing and smell, and by its rapid movements, and the ingenious architecture of its burrow. The latter is a real fortress.


It consists: (1) Of the chief structure , which is about two feet deep, below the roots of trees or ruined walls. This consists again of an almost spherical sitting-room (a ), about four inches square, which is stuffed with grass and hay, from which leads a descending passage (b ). Round the sitting-room there are two circular galleries (c ), the upper one of which is connected with the sitting-room. (2) Of a number of runs (d ), which are twelve to sixteen inches long, and radiate in all directions; they are connected with each other by cross passages. (3) Of the chief passage, into which all the runs open in the form of arches, and which leads to the hunting grounds. (4) Of the hunting passages, which run in all directions.

In this burrow from four to six young ones are born between the middle of April and June. The mother nurses them with the greatest tenderness, carrying them away in her mouth whenever danger threatens. But as soon as they are able to take care of themselves the parents drive them out of their home, and begin to lead a solitary life again. The mole is a very useful animal, because it destroys so many injurious insects. Although it does some harm by means of its mining operations, it is, nevertheless, more useful than destructive, and ought, therefore, not to be destroyed unless absolutely necessary.