Me, I'm not a gun person. I'm a "leave-my-house-unlocked-if-you've-chosen-to-rob-MY-house-over-all-the-other-pretty-ones-on-this-street-you-might-need-my-hand-me-down-TV-or-100-dollar-camera-because-clearly-you-have-bigger-issues" kind of person.
This both frustrates and amuses my husband, but even he wouldn't have a gun in the house, which, given the ferocity of some of our arguments is probably a good thing.
Anyways, a million years ago, I spent several weeks in northern Ontario, living with an older couple, as their "Girl Friday." I cooked, cleaned, ran errands, collected Dave from the local watering hole at supper time and generally made
My second night there, Dave showed me where he kept his gun - I can't remember what kind it was, only that it was stubby and heavy in my hand. And cold. I remember mostly that it was cold.
In any case, I sat quietly while he demonstrated how to handle, load and clean it before finally clearing my throat to say, "Uh, Dave? This is a nice gun and all, but I'm never gonna use it."
He frowned and sat down in the chair opposite mine, his face serious. "Liz, for as long as you live in my house, you will ABSOLUTELY know how to protect yourself, if I'm not here or Bonnie's not here. You WILL learn to use this so that you will be safe, unlike the poor young mother down the street who two years ago was brutally assaulted by an escaped convict, in her own home."
So, he taught me. And I paid attention, but my heart wasn't in it. Besides, I thought to myself, as I shifted the gun's weight from palm to palm, I'll never have the balls to actually shoot it.
A few weeks later, I woke in the middle of the night to what sounded like someone trying to break in to the house, through MY bedroom window. I skittered down the hall to Dave and Bonnie's room, dropped to the floor next to Dave's side of the bed, my heart beating so hard, I thought the sound of it alone might wake him.
"Dave," I whisper-shrieked to the side of his face, "DAVE! Someone's trying to get in my window!"
Before I could even summon my next breath, Dave had flung back the covers, landed on his feet and suddenly, his gun was in his hand. He handed me the cordless phone from his bedside table and lifted the bed covers again, motioning for me to climb in beside Bonnie, who was awake and alert, but silent.
"You hear me yell, you dial 911," he ordered and crept back down the darkened hallway.
Minutes passed, but felt like hours while I huddled next to Bonnie, my eyes on the empty doorway, ears straining for the sound of commotion. I don't think I breathed.
And then...a sound! It started low and built to a crescendo.....of laughter.
Clucking, Bonnie pulled me from the bed and together we made our way to Dave, whose hoots of laughter rolled from my room, where we found him peering out my window and pointing.
"I found your burglar, Liz!" he managed, in between mirthful snorts. His gun rested lightly on the windowsill, silent and still. Beyond it, past the neatly-trimmed bushes that sat just outside my window, I saw a large, dark shape, meandering away.
It was a bear.
Apparently, the berries on the bushes had drawn him over and the thudding and deep breathing I'd heard were his bear-noises of delight as he scarfed down a little early-morning snack.
|Photo courtesy of : dreamstime.com|
"Ha, ha!" I said weakly, as Dave's laughter died down. "Sorry about that!"
Bonnie patted my head kindly and wandered into the kitchen to make coffee. Dawn was breaking as we watched the bear pause in the neighbour's yard before loping off down the street, oblivious to the panic he'd caused.
Dave turned from the window, cupping the gun in his hand. "Well Liz," he said with a smile and a sigh, "It's a good thing I was here. Better me holding the gun than you, girl. Left to your own devices, you mighta shot that bear dead, eh?"
More chuckling while I pouted and huffed, "Whatever. You told me to use it if I needed to. I might have been able to, you know." At his chuckle, I scowled some more. "I might have, Dave!"
"Good thing you didn't, love." Dave moved to leave the room as the smell of freshly-brewed coffee floated in. "We'da had to charge you, Liz."
"Charge me? Why?"
"Bears are outta season!"
Tell me about your experience with things that go bump in the night!