Ugh. Really? A skunk? Google, you didn't by chance mean to say a vicious bobcat or fox? Not something dangerous or even a little fast? No, it seems it was in fact, a skunk. An animal that I could have just called out of my window, "Shoo!" and it would have scurried off into the ditches. It's just embarrassing. What's interesting, I'd always thought skunks were vegetarians until now. I'd likened skunks as the kindred critter version of me. (Yes, I think about these things. Don't judge me. Just love me.) They're so cute in their own little-don't get too close kind of way. But, it seems my impression was wrong. No little skunk friends, we aren't the same.
Regardless of the culprit, I still take full responsibility for the chicken death. It was an eye opening reminder that I need to do more to be able to protect my family. While checking out a home last spring as I prepared a move from the suburbs of Chicago, this was the sticker that greeted me at the door of my soon to be home...
And this was the greeting after I moved in....
I felt a false sense of security that the sticker alone might turn a potential intruder away. But now I've decided that this love armor needs a little more fierceness in it. A little more, 'Don't mess with my kids or my chickens' with a shoulder roll and zig-zag finger snap thrown in. As it were, Groupon happened to have a deal for an introductory gun class. Perfect. Not because I want a gun, mind you. I recognize God's protective hand over my babies for the past four years and give Him alone the credit for their surviving their good intention-ed Momma's parenting debacles thus far. I don't need to go testing the waters by putting a gun in the house.
Nonetheless, wouldn't it be a good idea to know how to shoot a gun should the need ever arise? I decided yes. And as it were, Groupon happened to have an introductory gun safety class.
I recruited my adventure loving, fellow Groupon addict friend, Samantha who lovingly agreed to drive way out to the country and shoot stuff with me for a day. We met at the 'training facility', which turned out to be an ex-marine's creepy basement at the end of a loooonngg wooded driveway. Oops. That's the trouble with Groupon, I suppose. It didn't quite match up with the state of the art facility posted on their website. But, a Groupon's a Groupon, and the class was full so we listened intently as the instructors droned on and on about their abilities: how they could shoot stuff real good, how their kids could shoot stuff good, how they could escape stuff, how they'd been on television about shooting stuff, and in universities teaching about shooting stuff. Then, they switched gears to share accounts of people who knew not how to protect themselves and the horrible things that happened to to them. Feeling ill from both accounts, I was strangely relieved when the guns were passed around the class. Sam was already an experienced shooter and doesn't have chickens to protect so she generously handed most of the preparation tasks over to me as we learned the mechanisms involved.
I'd been so very proud of my strong-normous milking hands and was unnerved to discover how difficult of a time I had loading the gun. Also, Sergeant Chauvinist was so hovering, jumping in to the rescue every time I dropped a bullet or accidentally started waving a gun around as I spoke. I didn't want rescuing, I wanted to learn on my own. But, my hands shook and my palms were sweaty. And it was hard to talk without my hands as suggested as a safety tip by the instructor. Finally, we made it to the shooting range, and I was relieved to discover shooting stuff is easy.
If loading a gun is hard and shooting a gun is easy, a BB gun would seem the logical solution to protecting my kin. Oh, and the women's self defense course that I was talked into signing up for after the introductory gun class.