I've been a terrible blogger lately. I'm so sorry. To make up for it, I'm gonna tell you a story. However, I do caution sensitive readers... (as if any sensitive readers could read here for any amount of time...).
I'm hoping the statute of limitations has run out by now... :)
Last Christmas Eve, I was chained to the sewing machine, where I usually am on Christmas Eve. Hubby had gone to the local toy/household/seasonal cheapy store (where HE usually is on Christmas Eve). It was early in the day, but we intended to be at the inlaws for the evening (and again the next morning), so it was my last chance to finish up gifts and projects. The days before were taken with cooking and baking, and prior to that we'd spent a few days with Gigi.
We were sad to note, upon our return from Gigi's Big City, that a predator had killed a couple chickens, and injured almost all the rest. They were bleeding/wounded mostly at their tail area; feathers missing, blood-stained, etc. We hadn't seen the coyotes since September, but figured that is what had happened. [The worst of it is, we had them cooped up - but the door is an old screen door, and the glass had cracked in a windstorm. Apparently the glass fell out, leaving just the screen for protection.]
In any case, I was in the sewing room, upstairs, with a view over the driveway (facing south). I was on the phone to my mom when out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of brown in the driveway. Being otherwise occupied in more ways than one, it didn't register as it normally would have. When I finished my conversation, I noticed I could hear the dog (in her kennel) barking, and the chickens clucking noticeably. I hollered to Big Sister to see what was making the dog bark, but I had the door locked (and the children banned from the room), so she didn't hear me. I yelled again once or twice before getting up and opening the door to the hallway to yell down the stairs. I turned into the girls' room (view to the east, side yard, swingset) and went to the window to see if I could see which way the dog was barking, and ascertain anything.
Just below me was a terrible sight. A fairly small brown dog was mauling one of my hens. My heart just seized up within me. I slammed my palms on the window and shrieked the most ear-piercing girly-girl scream ever (I'm so not proud of that). I tried to open the window, but we had wedged a broom handle to keep it from sliding open (when Organique spent a naptime shredding the screen and pitching anything within reach to the small porch below), and I could not get it out. I slammed my hands repeatedly on the glass, and screamed even more, without having any affect on the violence being done there below.
I turned and ran down the hallway - in my slippers and frilly apron - saying things like, "I need a gun. Where's the gun? You are NOT going to kill my chickens you filthy ba*****." Hubby keeps one by the bed, so I ran that way and grabbed it up. Hubby had taught me to shoot the .22, and I looked for the spot wherein you put the ammo. "Where's the little slidey-thing? I can't find the thingy. Oh Lord, what do I do?" I turned the gun over, back and forth in my hands. No slidey-thing. But on its underside, a springy area. I remember that. I lifted my eyes to the dresser top, covered in nuts and bolts and keys to things, and saw shotgun shells. I grabbed just one, and dashed back up the hallway, turning the shell this way and that, wanting to make sure I knew which end was which. Firing cap. That goes to the rear. Genius, I tell you. I flew down the stairs while tucking the shell into the little springy slot, and said to the girls in my most firm voice, "Stay IN this house!" and I was out the front door (towards the driveway). I crossed the front lawn towards the east side yard and swingset muttering, "I need to get it into the chamber. How do I do that? I don't know what to do." My left hand on the foremost grip responded to some kind of genetic instinct* and I heard the oh-so-Hollywood sound - "shuh-shuck!" of chambering the shell. My eyebrows lifted in wonderment, and a little bit of surprised pride, THAT should do it. I came around to the side with the swingsets and saw.... nothing.
To be continued...
*My mom (who died, see About Us) told me, when I was young, that the purpose of my conception was so my dad could have a hunting partner. As it turned out, I wasn't the boy they expected, and my dad met the Lord when I was a toddler, and thereafter laid down his idol - guns and hunting - so I think a little part of me must be wanting to fulfill my original - if misguided - purpose. :)