I am a peaceful, non-killing machine type of girl.
I didn't grow up in a house of hunters and never laid eyes on a real, honest to goodness gun outside of a museum until I was 18 - at which point my now husband/then boyfriend took me to a gravel pit to target shoot and the first thing I did was aim the loaded gun right at him.
Right. At. Him.
Not on purpose.
Yes, it's safe to say that I had no idea about guns until that very moment.
From then on, my education began. Brett told me stories of hunting trips he'd taken with his dad as a young boy. He explained what happened to the deer after you actually shot it (as I tried to keep my lunch from coming back up), and how he was always taught gun safety and respect, from a very early age. But most of all, he shared what the experience was like - the patient waiting, the careful, quiet walking and the bonding that happened on these weekend trips. Irreplaceable memories.
The next time I ever gave any thought to firearms was on my wedding day. You see, having grown up in a hunting family, my husband carried with him several hunting rifles - guns that had been passed down from generation to generation, hand to hand, man to man. These were pieces that he hoped he would be able to pass along to our children someday. So we had to strike a compromise, a deal so to speak, on how we would keep these family heirlooms safe from our children while preserving them for the future.
And a gun safe was born.
And I have thought little about what is inside that safe, until now.
There has been talk of a "crazy crow" among my children for weeks. It all started at the bus stop when this beast of a bird began pecking at the neighbor girls tights (apparently it liked her brightly colored legs). Then, at football practice one night, a crow was observed bouncing from car to car full of people, trying to make it's way into open windows - all while people were coming and going.
My oldest son said a crow had been terrorizing his school, coming in through open doors and stealing pencils right off of students desks! His friend had a bike helmet pecked to pieces while it was hanging off his handle bars at the school bike rack and it was clear that this crow was becoming quite a nuisance.
Last week my friend and her children came over for lunch. The weather was nice and dry enough that the kids wanted to play outside, in the backyard, on our big playset. "Of course!" we told them, "Soak up as much sun as you can." Little did we know that they would be joined by a crow - who tried repeatedly to get uncomfortably close to them. The dog did his best to protect our kids, but the crow didn't care. I yelled at it and threw rocks, but the crow didn't care.
And today is the last straw.
Today while my 5 year old daughter was walking in our driveway, minding her own business, that damn crow swooped down onto her head and began pecking at her! I was on the front porch, taking care of my geraniums and looked up just in time to see it peck and retreat, knocking her to the ground. I'm not sure whose screams were louder...hers or mine. I never felt so angry towards another living thing in all my life.
My baby - my baby! Pecking at my baby! If I had access to that gun safe (or even knew where the keys to it were or how to load one of those antique rifles) there's no telling what would have happened. Instead I gathered up my crying child, ran towards that bird and tried to scare it away as best as I could.
Katie is fine, some neosporin on her hands and many kisses seem to have done the trick, but I am beyond angry. I've left messages with city and police officials. I've read the states fish and wildlife website ten times over. This crow isn't protecting a nest and we certainly aren't feeding it, but I suspect someone is. And the fact that crows are some of the most intelligent birds of prey out there and can remember faces is not comforting to me, not at all.
Katie is fine, but she's afraid of the birds now.
And I'm afraid of what I might do if this happens again. The mama bear inside of me is not pleased with crow at this moment. While I am not going to get all Rambo in my neighborhood, I just might invest in a good sling shot.