PRAIRIE DOGS

By John Rauzon


From my position I can see the complex's entrance, and beyond. As I wait, crouched down behind the storm-toppled tree for cover, I detect activity. It's the sentry to the complex assuming his duty, providing security for the others.

I sit, growing restless with waiting. I watch the sentry through my scope. I pull the trigger. He falls, short of making it back through the portal into the underground complex. I chuckle to myself, and resume waiting.

Then there is another sentry. He recruits the assistance of two others to retrieve their fallen comrade. I wait as they mill around the complex's portal, mustering the courage to make a dash to the first victim. I follow them in my scope, hit the first two steps from the portal. As he falls, the second one hesitates, to absorb his companion's fate. My second shot drops him at that moment. All hundred yard shots; I'm deadly. I have them pinned down at this portal. I know there will be slim pickings here for awhile. They will use another entry point.

I can see all of the entry portals from my vantage point. The furthermost is about 150 yards from where I squat. My rifle is dead-on at 100 yards; I hold on the first lower cross hatch to make the 150 yard shots. I prefer the closer shots, but can do the long ones about as well.

I continue to wait for the inevitable--more candidates to volunteer to fetch their fallen comrades, now increased in number. I wait and think about the virtues of patience. I have learned to be patient. I wait in my cover. I watch the portal with my scope while looking out past the scope with my other eye for activity at the other visible entrance.

Another replacement sentry appears at the portal. At his beckoning, others appear to view the situation. After some milling around they appear to be preparing for a second attempt at recovery of the injured and dead. I wait, watching through my scope. By now there are 5 candidates ready to make the dash to assist in the reclamation effort.

I have reloaded my gun to its full 14 shot capacity. Another chuckle comes when I sight on the individuals preparing to make the run. Then they start, and I take them in order, last one first, first one last. Then I wait. Those were good summers. Ah, High School.


Author's note:

I was sitting around feeling nostalgic and my imagination hiccuped. I use to fantasize while I was at war with prairie inhabitants.

My motivations were purely self entertainment. I had fun, was unavailable to family, and the farmer was more than happy that I was solving a problem he was having. It seems that the buggars make holes for cows to trip in, and break various appendages. He would have been happy if I could have eliminated them completely. However, I would limit my day's take to 5 or 6, just to maintain the supply.

Occasionally I'd get a brush rabbit. I developed a taste for eating brush rabbit. Way better than chicken or turkey; when I see it, I still occasionally buy rabbit at Safeway. I know they are fuzzy and cute, like cats with long ears, but when you get them from the store there is no telling what you are eating.

- Just John




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Copyright 1999, 2004 by Gaelen Rauzon. All rights reserved.

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