The long, gentle summer evenings of my childhood were sometimes pierced by the crack and zinging whine of a twenty-two rifle.
It was my grandfather, defending his country sweet corn patch from the groundhogs.
His main garden was in town behind his house, where he planted and tended and grew enough vegetables to feed us and his entire neighborhood.
But oh how he loved his sweet corn. And in the country below our house, there was plenty of room for as much sweet corn as he could plant. It seems we had corn on the cob every night for dinner in July and August.
Pa wasn’t a cussing man — he was a school teacher — except when it came to the groundhogs who ate his corn. For awhile when I was a kid I thought damgroundhog was one word.
I feel his pain.
He would sit in a yellow lawn chair in the back yard above his garden with a glass of sweet tea and his twenty-two across the aluminum arms of his chair. Waiting.
I’ve been suggesting to Mr. H. C. that he do the same with the deer. Of course, we aren’t allowed to actually shoot them, but he could aim above their heads… (Or he says shooting in front of them on the ground is the safer way). Perhaps they would think it was hunting season and disappear into the deep woods.
He didn’t seem to be interested, so I got out the yellow lawn chair and the twenty-two rifle for him yesterday. This evening, I saw him cleaning it, and there is now a clip sitting near the back door. I suppose I could try it, but I think I am such a bad shot, I could accidentally hit one when I’m aiming over their heads.
Can you be arrested for poaching the King’s deer on your own land?
Yes, you can.