Saturday, July 23, 2011

The gardener's revenge

A while back I wrote about the devastation in my garden caused by Cassius, the dropout moose. At the time I vowed that if I caught him at it, I would put some birdshot in his trousers. Well, perhaps there is a Fairy Godmother after all. Today I emerged from my afternoon shower and looked out the window. There was Cassius, noshing on my garden. I yelled at him out the window. Cassius, startled, retreated to the edge of the pasture. But no more. I went out, armed with a ski pole. I yelled. I threw rocks. I threw sticks. Replied Cassius "what are you so upset about, human? Didn't you plant this garden just for me? Shut up and let me gobble up the rest of your veggies. Resistance is futile!" You could just see the wheels going around in what passes for a moose mind.

At this point, I saw red. Actually, in a crisis I never see red. I think quite coldly. Cassius needs to be taught a lesson. So I went inside. I broke open the box of #7 birdshot. I broke out my trusty double-barreled shotgun. As I recall, number sevens are BB-sized. Won't penetrate Cassius's thick hide, much less his skull. But he'll be stung. Out I went. The first thing to try is a wide shot. Usually this will do it. Even bears understand BOOM! But Cassius said, "Hey, human, why do you make so much noise?" Cassius, you are indeed a dropout. It may not even be your fault. Maybe mommy let you down. Or maybe, maybe, you are just retarded. However, I will not have my garden devastated. So I angled left. Cassius, meanwhile, was calmly eating some fireweed. Perfect. His size 100 stern was in clear view at about 50 meters. Put the bead on it (shotguns are not aimed, as a rifle is. You just point). Squeeze the other trigger. That fetched him! Cassius disappeared at the gallop. Perhaps he got the idea. Perhaps he didn't. If he didn't I have lots more birdshot. And next time I will get closer and hurt more. Of course Cassius prefers night-time feeding. Or should. But maybe he is, as I said, retarded.

At the end of the road there is the 30-30 Winchester and moose roasts. I hate to take that step. I prefer to live in harmony with the wildlife. Meanwhile there is the shotgun.
And there is my trusty double. It is on my bed, to remind me to clean it before I go to bed. I love doubles. If you can't do it in two shots you shouldn't be messing about with firearms. I did not take photographs of this episode in real time. That makes me an amateur blogger indeed. Sorry. I thought of the shotgun long before I remembered my camera.

Alaska law says that you may lawfully shoot any animal that is threatening your life or property. I suppose I could justify a fatal shot but I certainly hate to do so. Although it is a year's worth of meat. We will stick with birdshot. And, as a friend of mine said, the Russians might not be so scrupulous. You don't mess with Russians, as the Wehrmacht found out.

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