The worst part is I asked Helene to take this photo. I wish she had at least told me to close my mouth.
At the moment, here at HomePlace, we are harvesting and processing pears. We have everything close to the ground. I'm going for those higher. But the point of the photo is my little friend - the 1911. In the eleven years we have been here, either this handgun or something similar has been my constant companion.
Does that sound melodramatic? We are very much alone out here. There are two towns within ten miles of HomePlace, and neither have jurisdiction to respond to a 911 call out here. If a problem requiring a firearm shows up, I need it now. We aren't talking a big back yard, HomePlace is thirty five acres. I don't have time to run back to the house for a gun.
The problems in the past have been dog digging into the chicken pens. If I chase them off, they just come back later, then there is a pen full of dead birds. Talking to the owners accomplishes nothing.
Other times it's been a Copperhead or other type of snake. If I find them out in the woods where God intended, I leave them be, even the poisonous ones. But they love baby rabbits, chicken and eggs. Few thrills compare with discovering a snake in a nest you're collecting eggs from. They also lurk in bushes near paths where dog, cats, wife and grandchildren play. I don't need anyone accidently stepping on one. If they are around the house, they're toast.
From time to time I have an unfamiliar vehicle show up. I am friendly, I never make reference to the weapon, but it is always noticed. Sometimes it's just someone wanting directions. Sometimes it's not. Either way word gets around that there are easier pickings elsewhere.
Evidently sometimes that's not enough. Bear has been barking a lot lately at night. Sometimes it's the cat's bugging him. Sometimes it's stray dogs. At least twice in the last week it's been a car making the circle that didn't stop. As a matter of fact, took off when the porch light came on.
A couple of nights ago I lit them up with a Q-beam from the M-37. They almost hit a tree on the way out. We haven't seen them since.
Still, they may be back. My little friend and I may need to arrange a surprise.
Of course by little friend, I mean the 1911. Fluffum isn't much for outdoor heroics.