Monday, January 4, 2010

Wielding a Gun

“Looks like you’re horsing around today,” the man behind me in the check-outline commented. My granddaughter had asked for horses for Christmas and only got one Breyer horse. In my hands I held an on-sale horse that was on her list. It is for her birthday next October. She can make the mold of the horse then paint it. Also, I captured the last barn and horse set. It will stay at my house. I know both girls will love it.

“Oh, and you have…..” I was trying to see what he had in his hands. “Ooooohhhhh, you have…. bullets,” I said with a bit of sarcasm in my voice. The conversation continued. He works with the fish and game department killing varmints, such as coyotes that kill small domestic animals, wolves, mountain lions or bobcats that kill the long horn sheep that are endangered, and the rabbits attacking the crops. He offered to carry my gallon of milk to the car. He was a nice enough guy, this man with his bullets.

I don’t remember many people hunting when I grew up. I remember the fox hunts when I was in grade school. I also remember Hollie and Bill with the old car in the field used as a hunting blind. Dad had a shotgun. June had a BB gun. Dad’s shotgun was used to kill off varmints that attached his animals or crops.

Oregon is much different than the farm in Ohio. Our wild animals are different. Even our endangered species are different. The crops range from fields of red clover and those acres of flowers from sod farms to ranching. It is different. Many people raise alpaca and some buffalo. The cattle are wirier and lean.

This man with the gun got me to thinking. Yes, we do need regulations. Our salmon are coming back in record numbers due to strict regulations on salmon fishing. The long horn sheep are multiplying. The spotted owl has a chance and the wolves are again returning to areas where they have been eradicated.

He was a nice looking man chatting with me as I placed my things in the car. I appreciated having my milk carried to the car even if the man does wield a gun.

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