Saturday, September 12, 2009

Games Rednecks Play

My dad has a toy. Can you guess what it is?

I'll give you some hints.

It's so exciting that the whole family loaded up to come see the excitement.

It makes a really loud noise.

So much so that you feel the need to duck and cover every time he uses it. And he required every grandkid to have a set of ear protection...

It's guaranteed to kill large amounts of rodents in a few seconds.

It can make the ground shake beneath your feet.

It involves an explosion...

Can you guess what my dad's toy is?

It's called a prairie dog gun. He and 3 of his friends went together on the purchase of it after a traveling salesman (did you know they still have those?) did a demonstration for their community. Prairie dogs are a real problem for ranchers and farmers. Where you see a prairie dog town, you can expect to see very little grass and too many rattle snakes. Not to mention that your livestock incurs from stepping in their holes. A piece of land with prairie dogs on it is virtually worthless unless you're marketing it as prairie dog hunting land. Of course, I don't know anyone that's actually been successful in marketing formerly good farmland as a prairie dog ranch!

So, my dad and his friends are always on the lookout for new ways to destroy their nemesis. We have people that come from New York, or some other Yankee place to hunt "dogs." My dad doesn't even charge them. They show up with a table with an umbrella for shade, their cooler, and spend a day or two in demolition heaven. Men are a mystery to me, I'm telling ya.

At first, Dad was having trouble getting his gun to "fire." As a matter of fact, the hunters gave up and headed to a pond a few miles away to do some dove hunting. Of course, I realize in the above picture Logan is holding a rifle, not a shot gun. Hunters never leave home without a rifle. Never know when you might see a coyote that needs to be taken care of!
It turns out one of the neighbor kids was hunting on his family's land next to the prairie dog town we were in. He came over to check out the gun shots he had been hearing (Popcorn had been learning to shoot a gun, or rather to fear shooting a gun, and my nephew Logan had been target practicing while he was waiting on the show to begin.)

Poor Levi showed up just in time for Dad to have figured out where the problem was. It turns out that the instructions on the handle of the gun are important. He had inadvertently flipped his oxygen and propane ratios. Apparently that's pretty important...Once he figured it out, it was BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Levi, being a guy, and therefore enamored of all things explosive, was eager to learn the ropes. My dad, obliging fellow that he is, gave him a quick lesson, and let him have at it.

Levi was euphoric after his turn at creating an explosion big enough to shake the ground under his feet. And big enough to make me huddle down to the ground.

I was the only one who stood by Dad to see his gun in action. Everyone else had moved on with their lives. All I can say is "I'm there for you, Dad. You can count on me! Umm, but no, I still refuse to fire it myself." I personally, had no desire to fire it myself. I felt the desire to huddle to the ground and cover my head every time it fired!


Dawn said...

I am hurt. We did not get to share in the joy of the prairie dog massacre.....

Becky said...

But are they good eatin?