Today’s blog comes from our Man on the Road, Larry Piercy, who came back last Monday with a story so grand it had to be shared here with everyone! Enjoy!
A funny thing happened (funny after the fact!) to me at our cabin this past weekend. I arrived in the late afternoon after spending several hours working on the backyard at our house in Mesa, AZ trying to catch up after traveling for 2 ½ weeks in the Precision Airgun Distribution van. Since I was planning to attend the Airgunners of Arizona Field Target Match on Saturday morning I had driven the van to the cabin.
I unloaded the van, put things away, and started dinner. I had noticed some rodent droppings, which isn’t all that unusual, but they seemed more prevalent this time. Since it had been a long tiring day I decided to retire early. I had no sooner turned out all the lights than I started hearing the tell-tail sounds of something running through the attic storage area and the kitchen.
Hoping to identify the type of vermin – we have an abundance of squirrels and chipmunks along with a few mice around the cabin – making all the noise I grabbed the Hawke LEDRay flashlight I had brought in from the van and slipped out to the kitchen. Our cabin was built in 1918 of full-dimension lumber and a couple of knot holes have fallen out of the ceiling planks over the years. I shined my flashlight up at a couple of them to see nothing but an empty hole. Good! I checked the counter and noticed that one of my two bananas was totally missing! Okay. It isn’t a mouse!
I checked the knot-holes again and this time I am about four feet from a rat peering through the hole at me. The rat isn’t nearly as alarmed as I am! A chipmunk or a squirrel would be allowed to spend the night and I would find how they got in the next day while they were out gathering food, but not a rat! Immediate action was required!
I remembered that I have a rat trap out in one of my storage spaces so I go out and get it. I slather it with peanut butter, gingerly set it (after 3 attempts-talk about a hair trigger!), open one of the doors to the attic storage area and slide it into where this rat had taken up residence. I close the door and latch it. I go back to bed hoping that I awaken to the snap of the trap in the night and not the rat staring me in the face in the morning!
I get up the following morning, eat a banana-less breakfast, and get ready to work on a cabin project. Since I had not been awakened by the snap of the trap through the night I decide that the trap needs to be checked. Before checking I decide that it would be a good idea to utilize the Weihrauch HW45 .22 Silver Star air pistol just in case I need to dispatch the rat caught in the trap.
I go to the van, load the air pistol with a JSB Express 14.35 grain pellet. A little heavy for the pistol, but it was the lightest pellet I had on board. I find a dirt clod at about five yards away and fire. Okay. Now I know where it is hitting at very close range. I think I am ready to face “the rat” that is hopefully caught in the trap.
Now sliding the trap into place in the attic on my tip-toes last night was no problem, but to really check the trap this morning I had to take off my shoes and climb onto the wobbly bed in my sock-feet. With the LEDRay flashlight and HW45 in hand I carefully open the attic door and latch it open. I am now at eye level with the attic floor and the trap. My light immediately goes to the rat trap while holding the pistol at high retention and trying to maintain my balance on the bed.
As I inspect the trap it is clean! Not a morsel of peanut butter remains! How is this possible! As I stand there in disbelief, wobbling on the bed to maintain my balance, I raise the flashlight beam slightly and there is the rat staring back at me, wiggling his whiskers at not more than five feet from my face!
With all the composure I can muster I very slowly raise the HW45 pistol from high retention to eye level. I align the silhouetted sights so that the top of the front blade is level with the top of my nemesis’ head, all the while trying not to panic. As I fight to keep the LEDRay from shaking I begin pressing the trigger and ………… POP, the air pistol goes off.
When the HW45 discharged Mr. Rat jumps six inches straight up in the air. When he landed he is going full speed toward my face! Fortunately the rat trap was between my face and the aggressor! The rat runs over the trap, tripping it. His tail and back leg are caught in the trap and the trap keeps the rat from jumping into my face or onto the bed. Rat and trap fall about seven feet to the floor where the trap releases enough for the rat to escape and run off into the corner under another bed.
After I catch my balance and stop shaking, I reload the HW45 and begin searching under the beds. This is not what my instinct told me to do since I had nearly fallen off the bed trying to get away, not to mention nearly dirtying my drawers. But my sense of duty forced me to do it since my wife and daughter were coming to the cabin to join me on Saturday. Nothing returns your system to calm like laying on your stomach on the floor moving storage boxes under the beds looking for a wounded (I hoped!) rat. I find no sign of the rat so I go back to the attic opening and search to see if I can find blood or a hole in the wood indicating that I had missed. Again I found neither.
Now I am wondering if I hit the rat hard enough to kill it. Just in case the rat shows up again I left the HW45 loaded, after I regained my composure, and lay it with the LEDRay on the living room end table so I am prepared for round two, if there is one.
A few hours later I found a blood trail on some of the cabin foundation stones. The following day I found the rat, dead on his back, feet toward the sky. What a relief to know that we won’t have a rat crawling across our bed through the night, but if another one shows up I know just how to resolve the problem – a Weihrauch HW45, a Hawke LEDRay flashlight, and a JSB pellet. Forget the rat trap!