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Wendy said it best

Gunner - Guardian of Argghhh!

He died a hero.  No, not the dog.

Rocky the Rock Barred Rooster.

Some critter, most likely a coyote, discovered the smorgasbord of Argghhh! - also known as free-ranging chickens and guinea fowl. 

Rocky was an ass, but then, many heroes are.  I miss his crow in the morning.

But Rocky has a sideparty in Phasianidae Valhalla, to march in chains across the Rainbow Bridge, his servant in the afterlife.

Yesterday, while SWWBO and Right Girl were out making money at the Farmer's Market, Bug (Right Girl's gay chihuahua),  plus Kiki and Gunner were out keeping an eye out for interlopers, as the birds wended their easily-distracted ways to the coop for the night. 

The Predator usually strikes between 5:30 and 7:00PM.  Too early for the possums and raccoons - besides, all that's usually left is a few feathers.  This killer is big enough to take away the whole bird.

Me and my posse are all just sitting around the tree that overlooks the barn, coop, and paddock.  The goats are munching away, the horses are munching away, and the birds are... munching away.  Bug is being a chihuahua.  Kiki is sitting at my feet, Gunner has his head up, alert.

We're about to see who is made of what, this evening.

Suddenly Gunner pops upright, peering intently at the brush north of the barn - a site of several avian murders.  Coming to full alert, he takes off like a flash.

Kiki stands up, her bloodhound nose aquiver.

Bug?  Well, Bug... vibrates.

Suddenly wild yipping and barking breaks out from the grass where Gunner sped.  Kiki lets out a classic hound-like howl and bounds off into the brush.

Bug vibrates.

The birds... munch.  The goats... munch.  The horses... munch.  Because they know that rough men and rough dogs stand ready.  Well, dog, anyway.

I head for the house.

Bug follows me.  Vibrating.

The yipping, barking and howling continue down into the swale of the creek below the house, and then moves up-branch into the impact area laying directly behind the house, where many a criminal piece of paper has been executed by firing squad.

I go into the house.  Bug - runs off, vibrating like the chihuahua he is.

The sound of mortal combat intensifies.  That or a meeting of the Security Council.   I come out of the house.  Carrying the O.R.C., tapping the magazine to ensure it's seated, and flipping the filters up on the Tru-Glo sight.

I lock and load, safety on, trigger finger laying alongside the receiver, rifle cradled at the ready.

Kiki comes bounding back upslope, revealing her inner Frenchness.  She barks sternly at the fighting going on in the brush, like an impotent UN diplomat in front of a camera. 

And looks to me to do something.  Heh.  Typical.

Somewhere, off in the distance, Bug is vibrating.  I can just tell.  I just hope he's not vibrating near any coyotes.

The sound of the skirmishing has moved upstream and is now climbing up out of the rocky tree-lined valley into the old pasture to the west of the house - I can finally see the combatants.  Gunner is indeed harrying a coyote.

Kiki is demanding a cease fire, with peace keepers and condoms for everyone!

Bug is vibrating, somewhere.

The rifle comes up, I settle into a good cheek weld, both eyes open in the gathering red-tinged gloom of a cloudy Kansas dusk.

I switch to green dot from red cross.

There they are... safety off... tracking, tracking, tracking, - break contact little brother - tracking, lead, lead, lead, the green dot rests on the tip of the coyote's breast as he makes his break to crest the hill and escape...  squeeze, gentle buck, a reminder to next time remember the damn shooting muffs, and the interloper tumbles into the brush, Gunner following.

Kiki still bellows sternly at everyone, demanding that everyone return to pre-conflict borders.

The goats, startled by the shot, look up, and go back to munching.  The horses trot over to the far side of the paddock. The horses across the street, in the south pasture, given that the flow of battle was headed their way, break into a run for the low ground in the east by the dam.  The birds don't notice a thing.  They aren't deaf, but they sure don't give a hoot about gunfire.

Somewhere, Bug is vibrating.

Safety on, I trot laboriously into the overgrown grass of the as yet unmown pasture.  I marvel that I'm finally able to move at all, much less trot, given the damn gout.

Gunner stands guard over the body of his fallen foe.  The foe that he flushed, and ran to ground.  Gunner is a goofball, but he's a brave little bugger.  Once I'm there to secure the scene, the UN diplomat Kiki arrives to take questions from the press and credit for the cease-fire,  followed by a vibrating chihuahua named Bug.

I'm glad to see Bug.  I would hate to have had to tell Wendy I used him for bait and that it didn't quite go as planned.  There would have been weeping and wailing, and I would have been crushed with guilt over my part in the death of Bug. 

 The coyote?  Not so much.  Leave my tribe alone, canis latrans... 

And Gunner?  Gunner now knows what it sounds like, when the bullets are headed your way, sorta.  He's a combat veteran.


OMG! I laughed till I peed, and it huuuuurts!!

have no words except that this represents another victory in the War On Terror! Question: was the enemy wearing a belt and screaming "la la la la la la.........ophhhhhh!"
Let's hope the coyote tribe crosses you and your critters off their list of easy marks. 
You owe me a new computer monitor and pants. Hilarious! Poor Bugs.
No guts no Glory
 @ terrymum, I think everybody wishes it were true, but usually the one that has learned the most, ain't talking a whole lot. They sorta get quiet in their new found wisdom. Funny, how that happens.

A grey wolf will do a number on a coyote during those times when a gun isn't handy.

And a grey wolf teamed up with a Lab-Shepherd mix will flat clean the clocks of a pack of six.

Heh. My little sis doesn't *need* a bang-stick...
Hey, thought you were and OLD GUN guy, what's with the pretty little poodleshooter black rifle?
That gun was SWWBO's Christmas present.

Good on ya, John!

One little thing, though: dunno if Right Girl wants to be known as the woman who owns a vibrating chihuahua.

I'm just sayin'...

Er, Wendy, that's a *rifle,* eh?  Brad - she *is* correct, however, that rifle is Beth's Christmas present, avenging the deaths of her birds...

Besides, it was the best tool for the job, all things considered.  Second choice would have been the M1A, but I didn't have any 7.62x51 open, it was all still in battlepacks, but I did have an open case of charger-loaded 5.56mm...
Casey - you clearly don't know Wendy.
Guess that Massa John has his Garand chambered to NATO 7.62mm and not to 7.62x63mm.

Sorry to hear 'bout Rocco.  He was a proud bird.  Who will fill his spurs now that he's gone.  Sachmo is much a pretty boy for that.
John's Garand is a nice, complete wartime Winchester, thank you very much.

His M1A is his Springfield Armory M14 clone...
Loved it! 

We could use you around here.  We have a coyote who regularly beds down in our backyard--about 15 feet from my bedroom window, max.  I'm not joking.

Heh.  Can you imagine the fuss your rifle would create in this semi-tony SoCal neighborhood? ROFLMAO
Well, Fuzzy, he's keeping your toy poodle and flower-bed pooping kitty population down...
A vibrating little dog?? Should sell it into sex slavery!
Of all the characters in this story who is the most heroic? The chickens, the dogs, the man the gun? No, the most heroic character is coyote who went up against them all because unlike most of his advesaries who are fed from the store, he has to hunt to survive. So this story didn't make me laugh because it is a tragedy - the hero was murdered because the earth is too small for humans to share it with the rest of God's creatures. Every person who is born has the right to exist, and so does every other living creature that comes into this world.
not to mention the tiger and hippo infestations are held in check.  What a helpful coyote!  You should get him some roadrunner snax, Fuzzy ;-)
I guess I'm unclear on this... That's Beth's rifle? Cool ( cool rifle in any event).

FbL, what semi-tony part of SoCal are you in, 'cuz in Irvine, they would go balistic for the mere ownership, much less use of such a weapon...
Excuse me, little wolf - but my chickens, guinea fowl and ducks are all free range birds, and we sell thier eggs.  They eat bugs like ticks and chiggers.  I dare say that we are more welcoming to critters than you can imagine.

The coyotes have had too many babies this year, because it has been a cool, rainy summer, with lot's of food available to them.  So there is an over population of coyotes.  I intend to kill any coyote, fox, racoon, wild cat, bob cat or other vamint that tries to take away my right to raise my egg laying chickens by stealing them and eating them and leaving my hens defenseless.

The coyotes have no more rights to live than my birds, and do little but spread disease and fleas.

Love the suggestions, people.  :P

As to my location, it's the tonier PART of a standard SoCal city (kinda an upscale suburb--where our 1500 sq ft is considered a "cottage," the neighbor is a glamorous wedding planner who meets clients in her home, and "immigrant" groundskeepers are everywhere).  I don't know what the gun ownership laws are here, but I think they're not unusually restrictive for CA.  However, I get the impression that most people around here count on electric rather than ballistic security systems.  ;)
Dear Little Wolf,

I'm a Nazi. Want a kiss?


   If you are ever in Halifax County, VA, my wife and I will be glad to let you shoot our Glocks, Bushmasters, Springfields, Colts, Smith & Wessons, Rugers, Steyrs, M1 Carbines, Remingtons, Kel-Tecs, Kimbers, Tauri, Mausers, Glenfields, Winchesters, Marlins, and anything else in our small armory. We will also take souvenir photographs to hang on your walls to impress / outrage your neighbors.
 Little wolf evidently is a hypocrite, because if, " Every person who is born has the right to exist, and so does every other living creature that comes into this world," means we all are due the same ration of life, then he should live no longer or have a more full life than the dragonfly or nymph. Life is precious, but not all life is equal. Mankind is given gifts and abilities above and beyond that of the maggot or coyote, and failure to grasp and use those gifts is wasteful and unethical. 
Chihuahuas were specifically bred for obnoxious behavior by the Original Mexicans, IIRC, because they were also bred to be food. I think the theory was, that if they were really annoying troublemakers, one wouldn't feel so badly about killing and eating them. Anyway, good shootin', and what are you gonna do with the hide?
John: fair enough, although I was tempted to make a joke about vibrating chihuahuas and Paris Hilton at first. ;)

Alan, I must disagree. little wolf is not a hypocrite, he is a liberal.

First, he believes that humans should "share [the world] with the rest of God's creatures." Apparently this includes allowing feral carnivores the free run of Beth's little domestic friends, in the interest of "fairness."

Second, he believes (from context) that predators are "person[s]" who have a "right to exist." I wonder if little wolf has ethically pursued this concept to the logical conclusion that a predator has the right to eat him in order to pursue it's right to exist.

It also follows that, if a real human being type-person assaults little wolf, in order that the assailant may pursue his own "right to exist," little wolf has no right to self-defense. This follows from his apparent belief that the Donovans have no right to defend their little friends from assault and death.

I'm sorry, what's that? little wolf may defend himself, as that is also another unalienable right?  Ok, fair enough. But the li'l pup should at least concede that his position negates the idea of coordinate defense; that is, defending those close to you. Therefore, the manky wolflet may defend himself, but may not defend others important to him. So much for your wife, sons, or daughters.

Ah, but scrappy-wolf responds that those people are family, hence defensible. And who's to say that Rocky, Pebble, and Brownie aren't family to Beth and John? Didn't scrofulous canis minimus just say that animals are people, too?

Sorry, li'l wolfie, but I prefer John's primitive approach to your, ah, more nuanced concepts.

"Do not mess with me, or mine, else you suffer the consequences."

...and so does every other living creature that comes into this world.

So, what's your beef with John's defense of *his* living creatures' right to exist?

Oooooh -- beef. Lunchtime...

What Casey said - or, as I put it rather (and unusally) more succinctly:

Leave my tribe alone, canis latrans...

Apparently, war has been declared.  There was another avian casualty last night.

Heh.  Little does the coyote know... I have night vision sights, and since television so universally blows... plenty of available time.
"little wolf is not a hypocrite, he is a liberal."

Kinda of an oxymoronic statement there, don'cha think. ;P
Mrs G, perhaps you meant "redundant?" :) An oxymoron is a contradiction in terms.

I don't doubt there are ethically consistent liberals out there, but sometimes you have to examine the actual ethos involved.

Please help this city girl (actually, a fat old gray-haired grannie) understand what you did next.  How do you dispose of the carcass??   Wouldn't your dog dig it up after you buried it? 

My grandpa lived on the same farm all of his 99 years.  But, I forgot to ask how do you dispose of a coyote carcass.   I even forgot to ask him how he disposed of the skunks around the barn. 

In July, atop Monarch Pass in Colorado, the tram operator said he shot coyotes on his days off because they killed the rancher's calves.  He turned them in for the bounty. 
If ever a critter is to invade Little Wolf's private space, me thinks that THIS may be his response.  I for one prefer to partake in more permanent solutions.

Joyce - we have an 80 acre farm.  I could have taken the carcass in to claim the bounty, but I did what should have been acceptable to Little Wolf - I took it into the woods, near the 135 acre cleared area to our west, and left it for the turkey vultures, other coyotes, and raccoons, crows, oppossum, etc, to do their job. 

If it goes like roadkill, before today is out, it will only be skin and bone left, and not much of that.

I've not had to kill anything else, but we live in a very rural area with lots of woods.  Out here, nature's recycling process is pretty efficient.

If I have to start really culling this pack, I'll probably call the state and ask 'em what I need to do to claim the bounty - but I'm guessing the state doesn't want me bringing in whole carcasses - which *they* would then have to dispose of.

The situation is different out here than in the city, where there are fewer scavengers, and a lot less room
Thanks !   And thanks for the good writing.   City folk like me are spoiled by twice a week garbage pickup.   And the occassional mouse or lizard the cat kills gets mighty stinky fast in this Texas heat.
    Here in Virginia, we turn in the tongue to the VDGIF. (VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries.) We get a $50 bounty.
What's the going price for a rabies shot in VA?
The tongue!?!  Yuch.  I think the bounty here in Kansas is only about $15 or so.
Actually, just checking the Kansas website - they aren't paying bounties for coyote any more!
Tongue, eh? I wonder what parts of a coyote are palatably edible.... Hey, if you stew it for long enough, there's no tellin' what critter it came from to start with.... Lotsa onions and garlic and spices are helpful, here....