Baxter Black: On the Edge of Common Sense 7-9-12
July 8, 2012
One of the jobs of a Dad is to protect his family from invaders. It explains his membership in the NRA and his tendency to look longingly at the .357 magnum in the glass case. He’s never had to shoot a grizzly bear or rabid rhino, but he has imagined it; saving the family then striking a pose like Thor on the pinnacle of the Parthenon.
A covey of skunks had taken over the boneyard just over the hill from the house. An uneasy truce had been established between Mammalius squirtonamus and Dad until … he discovered they had been sneaking into his machine shed through the dog-door and eating the dog’s food!
He debated whether to build a “skunk blind” and wait, or buy a “skunk call” and lure them within shooting range, or simply bomb the boneyard.
In the end he decided to use a leg trap. First he locked up the dogs and all the cats he could catch, then baited the trap with bleu cheese and set it.
At three o’clock in the morning Darlin’ Daughter was wakened by the sound of Dad shouting at Mom. There was a large ruckus! Darlin’ listened through her window and heard Dad dancing around the dog door as the chain on the trap clanged against the sheet metal shed!
“Get a shovel! Find a board! Grab the chain! Hose him down! Get my rifle! Look! The chain is broke! Behind you now! Don’t let go! He’s toward the house!”
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Darlin’ Daughter ran downstairs to the kitchen. She could hear the clanking chain banging against the lattice that surrounded the porch deck. Meanwhile Mom tied an extension cord to the trap which kept the skunk from crawling underneath.
Dad, rifle in hand, told Mom to give the cord a quick jerk and run as fast as she could to keep the skunk from getting his feet on the ground to spray. Mom took off like a beach umbrella in a hurricane! Through the flower beds, across the yard, over the hedge and onto the gravel as fast as she could sail. Her night gown fluttered and her hair flew as she raced onward in her bed slippers with the skunk bouncing crazily in her wake!
“Faster! Faster!” yelled Dad as he assumed the shooting stance.
Darlin’ stepped out onto the porch. There was Dad illuminated by the yard light, poised; cowboy hat, tighty-whities, high top boots, body the color of cold chicken breast, aiming his 22.250 into the darkness, all proudly on display like Thor doing a Fruit of the Loom commercial under a big fat Alberta moon!
“Steady as she goes, Mother!”