Sightings from the Top: Gopher Talk 

by Terrie Todd


IMG_1362Crossing the Tupper Street Bridge one warm afternoon, I saw two plump gophers down below. One chased the other across the tracks, and I assumed one was in full pursuit of the other. Were they a couple or a wanna-be couple? Their high-pitched conversation was, of course, entirely in Gopherese and I am monolingual. Sadly.

So I wrote down everything I heard them say, although it’s hard to get the spelling correct in another language—especially when that language consists of a piercing whistle. I did my best though, and when I got home I fed the dialogue into a Gopherese to English translation generator on the internet. What came back surprised me. The two gophers weren’t a couple at all. They were just friends, two middle-aged lady gophers named Grace and Gladys, out for an afternoon of shopping, coffee, and gossip. Here’s their conversation, or at least the part of it I managed to capture.

Grace: Wait up, girl. I can’t keep up with you on this crushed rock. Ow.

Gladys: Sorry. Did I mention how much I love your coat? What color is that?

Grace: Tan.

Gladys: Well, it sure suits you. Makes your eyes sparkle.

Grace: Thanks. You know, I almost went with the Sandy Tan, but settled on Tan instead. Ow!

Gladys: Good choice. I’m thinking of Sandy Beige for next year.

Grace: Oooh, yeah, do it. Ow!

Gladys: Lord, Grace. Why are your feet so tender today?

Grace: No reason.

Gladys: Oh no? Why are you blushing?

Grace: I’m not.

Gladys: Oh yes you are. C’mon, spill it.

Unfortunately, the pair were out of hearing range by this time and I never did catch the rest of their conversation. I’ll never know for sure what happened to Grace’s feet, and I have no theories. But I’m open to yours.

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One Response

  1. Karen Gross

    I am guessing that Grace had a pedicure this morning, in hopes of a chance meeting with Johnny, the cute but somewhat uncouth gopher lad from the wrong side of the tracks. I’m not sure which side of the tracks our local gophers consider to be the wrong side, but apparently Johnny’s family lived under a pile of rusty scrap metal, and the other gophers referred to them as Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts…


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