OK, so we live on the edge of Lincoln, NE. Out back behind our fence is a field - it's nice, but we have a rabbit problem. This year has been the worst so far - they're eating every flower we plant out back and they're gnawing on our garden something fierce. They chewed up all of her flowers in the back flower bed one weekend alone.
At that point she had enough and ordered me to "take care of it."
I took this to mean that it was OK to buy a gun.
I ran it by Accounting (the wife) before I bought it, of course, and I got the OK. I figured that getting the OK to buy the gun meant tacit approval in using the gun. This would prove to be a poor assumption on my part.
I bought a very modest little air rifle:
This is the same gun I had as a kid and I knew it pretty well. Plus the new ones came with a scope and I felt pretty confident with it.
I bagged my first rabbit about a week after I got the gun. I was home alone so I could shoot safely - I can't very well have my three-year-old girl see me shoot bunnies or I'd be Bad Daddy forever.
So tonight the rabbits mocked me. They taunted me. They sat out back while the family had dinner, in full view of everyone, almost as if they knew they were safe because I couldn't do anything with my girl there.
But then came bath time.
And Rabbit Armageddon.
It was time to take vengeance on the bunnies.
I loaded up with pellets and went downstairs, only to find that they had vanished - all but one. I sighted up and popped a shot right into it's... leg. Damn!! I missed that little bugger!!!
I've sighted this scope up pretty well. I can hit the "P" on a Pepsi can from 30 yards - I can hit what I'm aiming at. So I guess I was just nervous. I had to reload and fire another one at point blank to finish the little bugger off.
I was making progress defending the homestead. Rarrrgh.
The only real problem was that the wife had seen this and didn't like it too much. The bunny had suffered because I had only wounded it, I hadn't killed it with one shot. It was cruel. I was being mean. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I was just doing what she told me to do, right?
So the wife and I sit down to watch a rare bit of TV after the kid goes to sleep. It's getting to be dusk, and just as the light starts to get all fuzzy out there I see them through the window - THREE of them, right by the garden.
I told my wife to be quiet and I ran and got the Bushmaster (I didn't have time for my Pith Helmet, but you'll forgive me I'm sure).
I load up and as quietly as I can I opened the back door.
My wife says, "What are you doing?"
"SHHHHHH!!!!!!" I replied under my breath.
"What are you going to do?"
"SHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" A little louder. She was going to scare them away!
She finally looks out the window and sees what I'm doing at this point (like it wasn't obvious?).
"NO!" she says.
" I say, just above a whisper.
I sight up. One is standing up, watching, while the other two eat my grass. Vermin!
I get set. Just as I'm ready to take out the guard, the wife pipes up again.
But the wife has made them nervous. The rabbit I aimed at moved, and I miss. Damn!!! The three scatter, but they only go about 15 feet, in three different directions. I give her my best hunter/gatherer/defender of the home glare and load up again. Now the rabbits are frozen, alert and ready to run. It's now or never.
Let me paint this scene. My wife is tensed up and trying to get my attention but she knows better than to do anything stupid when I've got a loaded gun in my hand, air rifle or not. I'm standing just to the side of my open back door, with my gun, trying to reload and pump up the gun in slow enough movements not to spook the rabbits. The rabbits are in three different spots in my yard - one is about 25 yards away near the garden, another is about 20 yards away near the swing set and the third is about ten yards away, having bolted toward the house for some reason.
I aimed, ignored my wife's antics, and fired. POP! Down goes the near bunny. Head shot. Clean kill. Rarrgh.
I glance over at the other two. The nearer one has gone behind the swing set tower and I can't see him. The other one has moved another five feet and is now in the corner of the yard. The deck stairs are between me and the rabbit.
I know I can't get the one by the swing set without actually going outside, at which point they'll bolt and I won’t get either. So I crouch down and take aim through
the slats of the deck stairs. It is a very tight shot. I know this is my only shot, impossible though it is. If I’m going to get this sucker I’ve got to try it. Wife is not moving. I set. The rabbit doesn’t move. I breathe out. The rabbit doesn’t move. I fire.
The rabbit falls.
It is an incredible shot. I popped that sucker through the stairs, missing two or three slats by ½ an inch, tops. I could barely see this thing between the narrow space between the rails and the oncoming dusk. If it hadn’t been up a bit in the grass to get its bearings I wouldn’t have seen it at all. But I saw it. Just enough. And I popped it.
It was a head shot, so it was a clean kill and the bunny didn’t suffer. I felt ten feet tall. What a shot! I was so proud of that! I ran out, ignoring the fact that I scared the last one off without a chance to shoot, just to see where I had got him. I had aimed just below the ear of the thing, and that’s where the pellet hit. Perfect.
I came back to tell the wife, and to bask in the glory of my deed having fulfilled my duty as Protector of the House, only to be met with a scathing glare and a very reproving wife.
I was in trouble. I had shot a cute bunny rabbit and I was bad. I had killed it. What was I thinking? Why did I have to shoot it? Blah, blah, blah blah blaaaaaaahhhh.
Wasn’t I approved in using the gun? Wasn’t I allowed by implicit agreement to purchase the gun to use the gun for the purpose for which it was intended? Wouldn’t that logically make sense? AND, wasn’t Wife originally on board with this because of the destruction to the flowers and garden?
Apparently, that was not the case.
So, even though I made one of the most incredible shots in the history of shooting to off that rabbit, I had nobody to share my success with. My joy shattered, I went about my business of collecting the carcasses and throwing them away. The near rabbit that I had shot from ten yards or so had no apparent bullet wound, just a bit of ichor coming from its mouth. It was dead and had apparently felt no pain either. I put them in the bag, tied them up and tossed them.
I put the gun away in my room (safety on, of course) and went back to the TV room.
I got the message.
I was allowed to buy the gun in a fit of pique, but I was not supposed to use the gun on the cute little bunnies, no matter how angry she was that they ate her flowers.
Of course, I found that out after I had murdered Thumper right in front of the wife.
So now I’m downstairs writing this story for you guys while she’s upstairs not watching TV with me on the only night we’ll get together this week.
Sometimes, you just can’t win.