Image courtesy Destination360.com
When I think of hunters, I see this:
When hunters think of deer, they see this:
Image courtesy rabbitkillerhotsauce.wordpress.com
When I think of deer, I see this:
These mental images were unchanged today, after the visit we enjoyed.
I was showing Mom some adorable dresses I was attempting to con her into sewing for me when someone knocked on our door. Our FRONT door.
No one uses the front door. It shouldn't even be there, it is like an afterthought. The door sucks, it hardly opens, and every year a swarm of ladybugs squeezes through the crack in the seal around the door, dies, and we cart out the vacuum, suck up the bugs, and wish the people who designed our house had just left out the front door altogether. No one even has a key to this lock, by the way. If that were the only door into our house, we would never get inside.
So we knew whoever was knocking was a stranger. The last batch of knocking strangers we had were selling meat out of a truck door to door. Who sells meat out of a truck? And not a good truck, like one with refrigeration and a covered back with a door you open. No, this was a random pickup with a cooler. For all we knew, the guy was selling chunks of his latest victims, hacked up after his latest spree killing.
My response to him had been, "No, thank you. We're vegetarians."
We aren't vegetarians.
I am a liar, and probably going to Hell, but I didn't want truck meat, and neither would you.
THIS time, Mom went over to answer the door, because she had brushed her hair after her nap and I hadn't. That is the way we make decisions in our house.
I overheard bits and pieces while I sat on the floor, keeping Darcy from running over and barking at Random Stranger. Random Stranger was taking an awfully long time talking with Mom.
I wondered if the Random Stranger was one of a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses. In that case, I thought, I would get out my eyeliner and draw an eye on my forehead, then grab some of the sage from the kitchen, light it on fire, and start dancing around in the front room where they could see me through the picture window, just to discourage them. They would, I thought, believe our house was a total lost cause, since a heathen girl with unbrushed hair was dancing around waving sage to ward off evil spirits like the pagans do.
Random Stranger was not a Jehovah's Witness. He was a hunter. And he was, charitably, about 12 years old. Okay. Maybe he was 14. I know this because when he was leaving, I caught a pretty good look at him as he got back on his bicycle and rode away down the road.
"He asked if he could hunt on our land," Mom informed me as I caught the last glimpse of Random Hunting Stranger Boy as he pedaled out of the driveway. "I told him no."
"Of course you did," I said.
"Our house is on like two acres," Mom said. "And there are no deer here. And also we walk around, and he would shoot us through the windows."
"He would," I nodded.
"And then," she said. "He asked if there were any other places he could hunt around here, like in the field between us and the neighbors, or across the street or something. I told him there were no deer there, and also that I walk there every day with the dog."
"You do," I agree.
"And then he told me why he was looking for a new place to hunt," Mom continued. "Which pretty much would have convinced me never to have let him hunt anywhere near our property, even if I had been inclined to say yes, which I wouldn't ever do."
I looked up from petting Darcy, curious.
"He was in this tree stand he'd put up on someone's property," she began. "He'd gotten permission from this man to hunt on his land. And he was watching some deer that came nearthe stand, until a cat came and scared the deer away. Then, he shot the cat because it scared the deer."
"But the cat turned out to be the land owner's pet, and the man said he couldn't hunt there anymore."
"What a complete [ANGRY WORD]," I fumed. "What kind of a flipping [BLANKITY-BLANK] would shoot a cat because it scared deer away? And why would he ever think telling you that was a good idea? He is such a total [NAUGHTY WORD]. If he ever tried that here, I would take his gun away and shoot him with it, because he is such a [HORRIBLE AND BAD] idiot-slack-jawed [TOOTHPICK BRAIN] who deserves to be [HURT IN A NAUGHTY PLACE]."
"I KNOW!" Mom exclaimed.
"And what kind of world do we live in if a kid can have a gun and shoot random household pets from a tree stand before he is legally allowed to drive a car or vote?" I proclaimed. "If you are still young and stupid enough to think shooting a small furry creature will bring the skittish big furry creatures back toward the sound of the loud banging, then you are too dumb to be allowed to swing a gun around in the first place!"
"YES!!" Mom said.
"And what would he do if he actually got a deer?" I asked. "Would he strap the poor deer to the side of his bicycle and ride home, dragging it along with him like the Old Man from The Old Man and the Sea
"This is upsetting me now," Mom said.
Then we both hugged Darcy. Then we found the cat and tried to hug her, but she wasn't interested in hugging, so we waved politely and gave her some space.
And that was Sunday afternoon at my house.
*Images not attributed were pictures I found everywhere and all over. I did not take the picture of the adorable deer or the scary picture of Charlie Manson, and I'm very glad I was never in the position to photograph him so closely.*