Killing fields

A weekly family column for the South Cariboo area.

For the last several weeks, and I’m not sure why, I’ve been watching a decent chunk of war movies from old time classics such as Saving Private Ryan to Netflix exclusives such as The Siege of Jadotville.

Perhaps, the sheer amount of bloodshedding around me has resulted in an addiction to the violence.

Since we moved to the ranch, the cat’s been a consistent killer; catching many a mouse, two bats and at least two birds.

However, recently the level of war going on has stepped up a few notches.

There’s been an absurd abundance of gophers. On the way in or out of our driveway, they’ll shoot across the road in front of the car three at a time while being cheered on by a crowd of high-pitched squeaks from further up the hills surrounding the driveway.

The unbelievable amount of gophers is even more impressive since two retired guys, both named Hank, have been shooting them for fun for weeks.

Even our dog, who’s generally got as much of a chance at catching an adult gopher as I do of not getting eaten alive by mosquitos, got her first confirmed kill yesterday.

My wife, who drives slower due to having our son in the car, said she’s even run some over.

Although that’s hardly the extent of her kill list, as she’s also caught at least seven mice by now.

As for me, I’m notably absent from the kill list. I am actually a decent shot (I think) as I used to shoot clay disks on Sundays with one of my college roommates. In fact, I even managed to hit two disks with one shot once. However, despite driving faster than my wife, I don’t think I’ve run any gophers over either. The whole situation is a little odd, being a vegetarian living on a cattle ranch.

Obviously, this is not the first time that it’s occurred to me that, having been vegetarian since I was seven, it’s a little odd that I married a cattle rancher. Far from it; the first time I came over she was skinning out an animal that morning. On the whole, all the dead animals make me a little uncomfortable at times or at least I would say I wouldn’t choose to spend my money on filling my house with taxidermy (not that that’s a doable hobby on a journalist’s salary anyways).

The thing that I do find curious, however, is when a couple of years ago I spent some time riding on a tractor with my wife something suddenly slithered by. I promptly jumped off and caught it. Apparently, you can bring home all the dead animals you want, but you show up with one cute little three-foot snake and suddenly things are not okay.

100 Mile House Free Press