Monday, July 9, 2012

The R.O.U.S.

[after Westley rescues her from the lightning quicksand] 
Buttercup: We'll never succeed. We may as well die here. 

Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt - no problem. There's a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too. 

Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s? 

Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist. 
[Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]


"Holy cow, it's a R.O.U.S.!" said Mr. Red House, looking out the window.

The R.O.U.S.
We were in Massachusetts, a way-stop on our trek to Canada.  Now, dear readers, I have lived in eight different states across the country and seen everything from moose in the back yard to tarantulas bigger than my hand inside the house, but I have never before seen quite a sight as this giant THING out in the yard.  It was indeed a R.O.U.S.!


R.O.U.S stands for Rodent Of Unusual Size, for those of you who have never seen the classic and singularly fabulous movie The Princess Bride. Our Massachusetts Rodent Of Unusual Size was quickly waddling throughout the yard, gobbling up all the vegetation it could get it's little teeth on.


After a moment of stunned silence, my brain finally came up with the name 'Groundhog'.  A quick Google check confirmed it - it was indeed a big, fat groundhog!


Believe it or not, this waddling groundhog is going to put on even more weight before its winter hibernation.


Nearby were a couple sizeable burrow holes. (I am sure glad we don't have those in our Red House Garden lawn!)


The groundhog was surprisingly fast for a such a portly fellow - you should have seen him run when I got a little closer!

Groundhog running for cover
Apparently groundhogs are also called 'woodchucks' or 'whistle-pigs'.  (Aha!  That's what a woodchuck is!)


Whatever it is called, it actually IS a rodent..


...of unusual size.

18 comments:

  1. Great photos of my least favorite ROUS. We have trapped with a Havahart and caught babies. The problem is finding a place to release them. The adults are more wary. They are very hard on flowers and vegetables and eat a lot! I have whistled and had them stand up to listen. For something that waddles they move amazingly fast. Those holes are dangerous. We fill them with stones whenever we can!

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  2. I LOVED the movie Princess Bride and that beginning dialogue brought the scene back to me. This ROUS is pretty scary looking. And imagine: we let one of his relatives predict when spring will arrive…..!

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  3. And if these critters get into your vegetable garden, the garden is a goner. We have two living on our property. So far we are on 'live and let live' terms.

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  4. Indie,
    In some countries they would eat that ROUS. I don't think the lawns there are ready for his/her damage.

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  5. I've never seen a real ROUS/groundhog, but now I'm glad we don't have those either. Our rats were large, but not garden eaters...I guess it can always get worse.
    btw, I love the movie also, but if you are a reading type, the book is even better.

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  6. Well, I have heard of groundhog, woodchuck, ROUS well maybe not. Ah but now I will be able to picture it in my mind.

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  7. Awesome captures of this cute guy! I usually see them in the ditches along side the road thankfully not so much in my garden.

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  8. I didn't know that rodents could be so cuddly.

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  9. Sheesh...def' don't want one of these!!

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  10. hahaha, it looks good as a pet! However, as it is a rodent, i will have 2nd thought. I am glad we don't have that here!

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  11. My poor mother has groundhogs running amok all over her garden in Massachusetts. We've joked that the hole Alice fell down, was actually a groundhog hole...NOT a rabbit hole! ;) Destructive monster rodents they are. The only rodents I've ever seen that were bigger, were the Capybara's in Patagonia. Makes me feel silly for complaining about the meadow voles that run around in my gardens. I really have nothing to complain about!

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  12. Great captures! That is one big mammal! We have groundhogs around here, too--I don't think any in the yard, but in the woods. Fun post!

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  13. Ah yes! As a dear friend reader from Lettherebegarden.com said to me, "WOuld a woodchuck chuck wood if a woodchuck could chuck woood??" OH YES!

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  14. Now that is a big rodent! But very cuddly. Much cuter than a tarantula.

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  15. LOL! They do get big and fat. LOL! I have not saw one near our house for years. Which is good. The racoons makes up for it though, pesky things. LOL! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  16. I'll bet that baby could strip a tomato plant before you could run out and chase it away!

    In studying all those rodent pictures, I notice that the kitchen garden is missing.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    I wonder whether they would be worth cooking. It looks big enough to feed a family.

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  17. I actually got charged by one of those, deceptively fast! We locked eyes as I stood I'm my front door and he ran right at me..lol I had to slam my door or he would have run in the house! What a way to start your day , assaulted by a R O U S

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