The Mole Who Was Afraid of the Light

Marty was a typical mole who discovered that in order to find his future, he must face his fears.

The Mole Who Was Afraid of the Light

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode14

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea:  Hello and welcome, we’ve been hoping you would come! My neighbour will be bringing us a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Why who could that be? Hello, who is it?

Jules:  Hello Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea:  Oh how right you are. Come in dear, we are looking forward to your story.

Jules:  Hi Nanny Bea. Today I’ve brought you a tale of a mole who learns that in order to face his future, he needs to face his fears.

Nanny Bea:  Well before we hear your tale, we have a caller with a wonder word.

[wonder word jingle]

Alicia:  Hello Nanny Bea, this is Alicia. I have a wonder word, it’s gibberish. 

[drum roll]

Gibberish is when people speak in a way that’s confusing either because it’s very technical or because the person speaking wants to confuse you with words you don’t know. That is why I want all the Wonder Words I can get, bye for now.

[piano out]

Jules: And if you listen carefully, you might hear some gibberish in today’s tale. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please

Jules:  Okay then, The Mole Who Was Afraid of the Light, adapted for radio

Marty was your typical mole, born hairless along with his 2 brothers and one sister, raised in an underground nest lined with dry plant material. Before they were born, their daddy dug and dug to find their mommy. That in itself is quite a funny story. You see Daddy Mole was quite a catch with his beady little eyes, his rotuned sausage roll like body and his gift for the gab. Why Daddy Mole could talk a hindlimb off…another Daddy Mole. He had been digging to find a suitable partner. He dug for days to the North, dug for days to the South and dug for days to the East but still he couldn’t find his future bride. Finally when he’d nearly given up all hope, he turned to the only direction he had left, the West. Daddy Mole was so tired by now he only dug with one of his forepaws barely using the second thumb he had on that paw. (Fun fact, all moles have two thumbs on each paw!). Any way Daddy Mole swiped the dirt wall half heartedly to the West when, blunk, he hit something, maybe a juicy worm as it was wiggling around and felt all fleshy. He grabbed a hold and tried to pull the worm through but this worm was a fighter and seemed to have a whole family of worms fighting with her. Daddy Mole started using his extra thumb and then his other paw. Finally with a major tug and a yank he pulled that worm and it’s family out of the dirt wall and right on top of him. He fell back confused but intrigued by the strength of the beast. Then he wiped the dirty from his beady little eyes only to see the most breathtaking vision. What he thought was the worm he pulled out of the dirt was attached to a forepaw, attached to a sausage roll body of the most beautiful mole girl he’d ever seen. Her eyes were even beadier than his, her snout even more bald and her hindlegs even stumpier. Daddy Mole, who usually couldn’t stop talking was lost for words, all that came out was some gibberish about the technical benefits of westwardly digging and the evolution of his additional thumb. Mommy Mole thought it was charming. It was love at first limited sight.

They wasted now time, Daddy Mole popped above ground for the best dry plant material he could find. Mommy Mole swept the dirt out of the nest and before you know it, they were blessed with four baby moles, Marty, Bertie, Stan and Sheila. They were so proud.

Marty, Bertie, Stan and Sheila grew hairier each day, they ate plump, juicy worms and talked about the adventures they’d have once they fled the nest. Each of them inheriting Daddy Mole’s gift of the gab and jumble of gibberish when shocked or surprised. One by one they made their way out of the nest. Sheila was first, she didn’t even tell the others, one day she just dug, dug, dug her way to the surface, found her idea of the perfect home and dug, dug, dug her way into it. A tunnel of her own all dusty and new.

Stan and Bertie after several trial runs of poking their heads out of the ground, followed suit, ironically they all headed west thinking they could dig their way to California, highly unlikely but Mommy Mole encouraged them to dream big.

Marty was the last in the nest and although he could talk a good moving out tale, he showed no signs of doing it. Mommy Mole began to worry as mommy’s often do. ‘When is he going to get his own place? He won’t even poke his head out to look for one,’ she shared with her neighbours. They had several suggestions,

‘Feed him nothing but day old ants,’

‘Feed him nothing but day old ants by the tunnel exit,’

 ‘Feed him nothing at all!’

Mommy Mole appreciated their input and put them all to the test. When she fed him day old ants-he thanked her politely, when she left his meal by the tunnel exit-he just ate by the exit and when she left him no meal at all-he just hunted worms for himself. 

Mommy Mole decided it was time for the talk. She sat Marty down, ‘Marty, sweetheart, you know I love you.’

‘Yes, Ma’am.”

‘And you know I just want what’s best for you?’

‘Yes I do.’

‘Well how do I put this in a kind and gentle way…’ she couldn’t think of one so just said, ‘Get out, move, make your own nest, I need my space!’

Marty got the message loud and clear. He started dig, dig, digging to the surface and each time a crack of moonlight shone through, he’d run back to the nest. Mommy Mole started to see a pattern and piece it all together. Why it wasn’t living out of the nest Marty was afraid of, Marty was afraid of the light.

Mommy Mole went back to her neighbours, 

‘Dig holes to the surface all around the nest, flood him with light,’

 ‘Fill the tunnel with candles night and day,’ 

‘Buy yourself a disco ball and have an underground rave!’

Each of those suggestions seemed totally reasonable, Mommy Mole decided it was time for another talk. She sat Marty down, ‘Marty, sweetheart, why are you afraid of the light?’

Marty spouted a jumble of gibberish about reflection verses refraction of light.

Mommy Mole thought it was charming but not very helpful, ‘Take a deep breath, rebreathe your expired air and release.’

Marty started to calm down. ‘Now tell me Marty why are you afraid of the light?’

Marty could see, Mommy Mole was not gonna let this go and without meaning to he rattled off his reasons, all at once, ‘In the dark you can’t see anything to scare you.’

‘In the dark it’s quiet so I can hear my heart beating and know I’m alive.’

‘In the dark you can hide from anyone who wants to sneak up on you.’

‘In the dark, I’m safe, in the dark I’m home, in the dark I’m happy.’

Mommy Mole took a moment as she thought about how true that is. ‘Yes sweetheart, you are safe and home and happy in the dark, we all are but sometimes we have to face our fears to find our future.’

Marty wanted that to sound like gibberish, but it didn’t, it made perfect sense. So starting that day, he’d dig, dig, dig to the surface. The first day he let the moonlight in and just stood in it. The next day, he popped his head above ground and the third day he went to find his future.

The End

Nanny Bea: Oh, thank you Jules. I do enjoy the mole hills in my back garden, the hedgehogs have turned them into a bmx bike course and how they entertain me with their tricks.

Jules:  Hedgehogs, on bikes?

Nanny Bea:  Yes, but only in the evening. Perhaps if you come back at a later time next week you can see them.

Jules:  Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse, I will be back next week for more Tales and Tea, and maybe a hedgehog bmx display.

Thomas:  Go to

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our episodes. You can like and follow us on iTunes or Spotify and get in touch if you’d like to be on the show like the very clever Alicia.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for