Monday, June 18, 2012

The Pigeon Chronicles Part Two

        Jonathan walked into the house with the sleek, black Remington air rifle casually resting on his right shoulder.  My first question was presented in a panicky, shaky voice, "Is it loaded?"
"Of course, not", my husband aka Clint replied. He proceeded to show me the pellets, how to cock the barrel and how to load it. We put the rifle in a corner for a while as we went about our evening routine, which is sip cocktails, prepare dinner and if you're me, chat on the phone. At some point Jonathan asked me if I wanted to fire the gun, just to see what its like, he added. Being the fools that we are, on the very first day of being gun owners we broke the first rule of gun use: Do not drink and use firearms.  But don't worry, the only thing we shot was a plastic bottle that we set in a tree for target practice. I guess I shouldn't say we shot it, because my shots never even came close to the damn thing. I tried to blame my lack of ability to connect with the target on my bad eyesight, or the fact that I'm left handed, but the real truth is that I just suck at shooting stuff. It's okay, I'm fine with that role. That being said Jonathan became the designated pigeon assassin for JEM Stables. Game on!

   The next morning dawned brightly, with joyous, June sunshine and alabaster clouds pasted against a sky so blue it looked artificial. After feeding the horses I headed down to the indoor ring to move the jumps, because we were borrowing our landlords tractor so we could drag the ring. The pigeons were perched on the roof, cocking their heads back and forth as I walked down the hill.

"Prepare to die, mofo's!" I said in a cheerful tone. "There's a new sheriff in town and your days are numbered!"

  I whistled as I heaved the rails into the middle of the ring, pausing only when I heard the tractor approaching. There was Jonathan, driving the glossy, orange Kubota, with the rifle at rest on his shoulder. Wow. I never thought I'd see Jonathan driving a tractor, with a rifle in his hands. The whole picture provided amusing appeal, but there wasn't time to take his photo. His steely gaze showed me that he meant business this morning.  There was killing to do and he was the man who had to do it.  Once the jumps were piled high in the middle of the ring, I excused myself to go find other chores to do. I admit that I wanted the pigeon problem to end, but I didn't need to witness the end with my own eyes.

  Jonathan returned from the ring roughly 45 min. later and here is his brief account of what ensued after I left:

  "I shot one dead from the rafters. And I nicked the other one, but it flew off and won't let me get a good shot at it again."

 "You GOT one!!" I gushed. Holy crap, he GOT one!! I was so proud of Jonathan's new found skill, but then at the same time I was sad for the remaining bird. It was now a widow, or a widower. I saw it fly off, soaring high over the trees, heading away from the farm, presumably to prepare some sort of memorial service for its mate. Our hope was the it would stay away from the scene of the crime, but two days later we had another sighting of the pigeon on the roof. That afternoon two of our boarders told us the bird was in the ring and up to its old tricks of fluttering around, flying from perch to perch and generally behaving like an asshole.

   {Here's where I'd cue the Good, the Bad and the Ugly whistle sequence}

   With the rifle at his side, Jonathan walked down the dirt driveway toward the ring, his footsteps causing small clouds of dust to trail his lone figure in the early, dusky light.  Again, I stayed up at the house, anxiously awaiting his return, full of hope that this miserable saga of carnage would be over this night.

    When he arrived back in the kitchen, his face was grim. He nodded slowly and I knew he'd done the dirty deed.  Apparently, the bird had flown towards him and hit him in the head after he shot it. Vindictive s.o.b.  It was like the Jason of pigeons, minus a tiny hockey mask. Relief flooded through me that the pigeon punks were gone. We had our ring back from those feathered menaces. Our kingdom was once again safe for all horses and riders.  And my man looks totally badass with a rifle.

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