Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Protector...

This happened the night I brough Annie home, but the post was running long , so I saved it for today.
It was just past 10 o'clock, and I was in the bedroom getting changed for bed when Cricket, the Pomeranian, started growling, and doing this funny chuffing/bark thing. I didn't really pay attention until she went to the back door and started doing the same thing. Ok, maybe she had to go potty, I thought. So, half-dressed, I go to the door and let her out. You should have seen the HUGE possum outside just beyond my deck. It weighed at least 15 pounds! Little Cricket goes out, barking her head off, when she sees this thing. I'm calling to her as I head back into the room to grab a gun and a flashlight. Yes, a gun. I've lost too many chickens over the years to varmints, and I take care of them myself. I prefer to do a live trap, then a trip to Clay Farm, but that does not always happen.
Anyway, I pull out one of my husband's rifles, but I could't find the right shells, so I pulled out the little Marlin 22 I gave him for Christmas one year. I grabbed a handful of shells and dropped them into my sweatsuit jacket pocket, then dug for a flashlight. Why is it you can never find a good light when you need one?
By the time I got out on the deck (in my underwear and shirt, mind you) the possum has waddled around the side of the house, with Cricket on it's heels. Murphy, all 190 pounds of him, wagged his way around the deck licking my legs as I shone (shined?) the flashlight, trying to see where Cricket was. I could hear her, but I couldn't see her. I tried to encourage Murph to 'go get it, go get it boy'. He just sat there. Murph is a sweetheart, he's just not real bright, poor thing.
So, off I went through the yard. I realized they had circled the house and headed back towards the chicken coop. Cricket ran back to me at one point, basically telling me to get my ass in gear, then took off again, barking her little head off. At the chicken coop, I looked around, but could see no possum. Cricket was still growling and chuffing, but she had lost it too. I shined the light in a broad circle, and finally saw a pair of eyes watching me. By the time I got the rifle aimed through the two rows of fence he had made it through, he was waddling down the hill. I cracked off a couple of shots, but I know I didn't hit him.
Cricket was so proud of herself, because she felt she had chased that huge thing off. So I praised her as if she had in fact done that. What a crazy little bad-ass she is! All three pounds of her.
Murphy never saw the possum at all.
I had hung up on my husband in the middle of all this, so I called him back and told him what had happened. He was at a bar with his buddies. He laughed his butt off, then told his buddies, who were horrified. They already think we're gun fanatics, now he's telling them his wife is running around in her underwear shooting rifles at wild animals at night. Yea, great image. Thanks honey.


  1. Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing this story. I'm very glad to know I'm not the only gun-totin' writer out there. When I lived in the woods in TX, I packed a pistol whenever I went outside to work. Had to. You never knew what kind of varmint you were going to run into. Mostly snakes, the venomous kind. And back then, I could actually hit a snake with my pistol. Had quite a reputation in the neighborhood. So don't worry about the hubby telling the tale, it'll keep more varmints away than you might imagine. While I lived there, my place was the only one that didn't have things occasionally go missing during the night. I've still got my arsenal, but they're put away now. Where I live now, the neighbors would probably call the cops if I fired off a shot. But I DO still think about it once in a while. ;o)

  2. I love to shoot. I think it's part of why I became a cop. Thankfully, though, I never cleared leather on the job. Even though I wanted to sometimes.
    I've been kind of lazy , too. I haven't been closing up the coop as religiously as I should, because the chickens have been staying later because of the time change. But that night, for some reason, I made a special trip out to close the doors. Lucky me. If the possum had gotten in, he probably would have stayed out there to eat rather than wander around the house looking for stuff.
    Honestly, I hate shooting animals, but I will do it to protect my own. I would much rather shoot a groundhog than have to shoot my horse because he stepped in a groundhog hole.
    Nice chatting with you.

  3. Exciting story, Jennifer! Way to go, Cricket! Sometimes small dogs are frighteningly brave.

    I don't have any gun stories to share. Sorry. Feeling a little left out, really...

  4. Ha Ha, don't feel left out. I'm just happy it wasn't a skunk she went after.