As one gets older, Sunday afternoons seem to take on more and more importance as far as naps are concerned. Busyness during the week, insufficient sleep at night and a million other things cut into our rest until our body says its enough and lets us know that its time to slow down. It seems to happen most often after lunch on Sunday afternoons. All you want to do is find the couch or swing or somewhere to just chill out for a couple of hours. Such was the case for my wife and myself back this past spring.
Our house is what I guess one would call Southern-style, being a two story with a wraparound covered porch and is located on about five acres, half of which is wooded. The back porch has a large swing which is wonderful for nap taking. Directly upstairs is a double dormer with a window bench seat, and is also a good place for a nap. There is a large oak tree probably not more than twenty feet from the back of the house, putting it real close to both of these nap locations. We use this tree as a location to hang the bird feeder because it is visible from several viewpoints from the house.
On this particular Sunday afternoon my wife had beat me to the window seat upstairs so I had camped out in the swing. She typically opens one of the dormer windows to get some fresh air when taking a nap and had done so this time. We both were well into a good nap when a disturbance from the direction of the oak tree caused me to arouse. Squirrels! We had been having a terrible problem with squirrels eating the bird feed as well as chewing on the feeders. They are very destructive, chewing on anything they think may be editable. I had trapped a few but mostly, when I had the opportunity, I would sneak inside and load the S&W Kit gun and take care of the situation.
This time there were two and they were having a great time stuffing themselves with sunflower seeds. I remember thinking, "Naw I better not. .If I wake her up life will NOT be pleasant."
But then, I had just a couple of weeks prior ordered one of those SGB tools from Hanned and had filed flats on a box of standard velocity ammo which I had not had time to try on real live targets. Oh, why not! Life is too short to not live on the edge at least some of the time.
I managed to sneak inside, get the Smith loaded with the SGBs and back on the back-porch. The squirrels had left the tree and were on the ground under the feeder. Crawling up to the porch rail and using it for a rest, I took a shot at the closer one. I missed! The stupid squirrel moved right when I squeezed the trigger. Isn't that always what happens? At the shot one squirrel high tailed it for the woods while the other one went up the oak. No activity from upstairs. Life is good. The shot being down toward the ground did not carry to the upstairs open window.
Knowing that the second squirrel was still somewhere in the oak, I lay back down in the swing and decided to wait. After about thirty minutes I saw movement up high in the tree. Sure enough, there he was. But he wasn't coming down to the feeder or the ground. I could see him well enough for a clear shot but it would be up in the general direction of that open window. I remember thinking , "she does sleep real soundly. It takes a lot to wake her once she is asleep." I repeated the stalking routine to the porch rail, got in position and took a shot. The SGB caught the squirrel midships breaking its spine. No movement. He just flattens out on the limb and starts to slide off. Man, these things work!
The back door opens.
"What ARE you doing?"
"Protecting the bird feeder."
"Protecting the bird feeder?"
"Yeah, from the squirrels and I got one"
"You got one? In the middle of my nap you got one?"
The door closes.
So much for living life on the edge. We all have those moments in our lives when its not until after they have passed that we realize just how close we have come to meeting our maker.