Okay, so we have a definite Y chromosome thing going on here lately. The boy wants archery supplies -- a recurve bow and arrows -- and then this week he got all pink and trembly over the prospect of learning to fire the air rifle. Our bear problem has resurfaced. This time a bear is after apples, not chickens, but we don't want it around in any case. We have our hearts set on apple cider, and the apples need to sweeten up with the cooler nights. So we've had the air rifle out a few times to scare the bear off. The pellets are enough to give the bear a little bit of a startle and maybe a little bit of a sting, and usually it will run off, if not with the first hit, then with the second.
Noah asked to learn to use the air rifle. He's not one to overstep his capabilities; often he needs to be nudged into trying potentially risky things. So I knew he'd abide by safety rules and take the responsibility seriously. Yesterday the bear was here while I was out and the kids were here with my sister. Noah, who had just has his first instruction, loaded up the air rifle to take a shot. Alas the bear ran off before he could zing it, but he was pleased that when he blew off the pellet he managed to hit the tree trunk he was aiming for.
And then today we went out for some proper practice. He seems to be a bit of a natural. His first four shots produced one bullseye and one near bullseye, and nothing outside the orange zone. Next time the bear shows up, I'll let him take the shot. I'm not bad, but I think he's better than I am.
For the record, my gentle pacifist has no interest in killing anything. But he loves handling that air rifle and would love to nail a bear with a pellet and send it running off in surprise from the sting.