May 27, 2012: Fowl on the defense

I’m not much of a basketball fan, but what with the OKC Thunder rumbling, my title this week wasn’t hard to construct. Also our ducks have been repeatedly attacked, but vengeance was mostly mine. Lemme ‘splain.

Until late last week, we owned 8 ducks. Then, one night, one of the adolescent ducklings vanished. We speculated, mentioned getting some firearms, built some walls around our mother-sitting-on-the-nest, and put the other duckling with the 6 adults. Next morning, our mother-sitting-on-the-nest was missing. We speculated, reiterated the need to get some firearms, and bought a solar-powered motion-sensing light for the yard and an incubator for the clutch of a dozen eggs. Two nights ago, while setting up the incubator, we heard a squawking, and raced out to our garden in time to see our other duckling about to vanish over the side of our chain-link fence backwards. Our noise and lights scared whatever had hold of her, and it took off into the woods, leaving our wounded duckling on her back, outside the fence, in shock.

We put her in a tub with food and water in our basement, applied antibiotic ointment to her wound, speculated, and reiterated in strong terms the need for firearms. I even made a list of pawn shops to call and priced ammo at two stores. And we baited our live trap and staked it down because the last critter that went into it got out again by bending and dragging it. And we went inside to watch “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” for inspiration. The story did inspire, the music…not so much. But when I went to check the trap from the deck with my new high-powered flashlight, I saw not one, but two pairs of eyes poking around my trap. I decided the time had come to actually use the firearms.

I took my light in one hand and my gun in the other, and went to shoot the one critter, a raccoon, that was actually in our garden, and then dispose of the other critter, also a raccoon, that was in our trap. I spotted the critter and fired…quite forgetting that I had no ear protection…and that I held my .45 pistol in my left hand, which is not my dominant one. My ears are still ringing as I type this almost a day later, and the critter got away. However, after several bullets (at 40 cents each), the trapped critter died, and our ducks got to live another day. And we talked again about… never mind. So our remaining five ducks stick much closer to each other at night now; maybe they aren’t as dumb as we thought. Nah.

But wait! There’s more! Put that checkbook away…but keep it handy because your mower needs another belt! That’s right! Yet another! And a new pulley wheel because you didn’t read the directions and you put the last one on wrong when you put on your last belt…:) What would you expect to pay for all this? That’s right! More than you want! But you do get your yard mowed…eventually…What a deal! Yes, my mower needed more fixing, but it’s done now, and I plan to mow tonight when it cools off some.

I plan to mow carefully with my pushmower because I also need a replacement head for my weed-eater. No, I still haven’t fixed or replaced it yet because the postal service distracted me. You heard me right, and be thankful your ears aren’t ringing, especially if you can actually hear me typing. :) Now, we live in the country, which means nobody spends more money on their mailbox than absolutely necessary. Some have larger ones than others, but they’re all metal and that’s it. No frills, froo-froo, or fanciness here. Ours is small, leaks, rattles, doesn’t stay closed, and rocks back and forth on the board that supports the other four mailboxes that make up our neighborhood. And we like it that way…mostly.

Then, while speculating about firearms, we got a notice in the mail about Mailbox Improvement Week. I kid you not. I suspect our mailman invented it and used some letterhead stationery from the central office, but whatever. He was right. We needed a new one. So we bought the black plastic kind from the store, and some gold letters and numbers to put on it because that was the only color they had besides black. I happen to think that gold letters on a black mailbox looks kind of cool, but I wonder if the neighborhood will agree. They might think we’re being uppity, but hey: I kill the wild pests around here. They can come argue all they want. I won’t hear them above the ringing in my ears. Besides, black plastic isn’t exactly high-class. Black guns – now, those are cool. Maybe I’ll actually get one…eventually. Tune in next week to find out.


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