The Ground hog and BB gun.

The Groundhog & BBgun

(A true story summer of 2002 Enola, PA)




I woke up one sunny summer morning, I went downstairs for a cup of coffee, and while sipping my coffee, and I saw a groundhog sniffing around the garden’s edge. There has been a constant battle against groundhogs for the eatin rights to the garden; those groundhogs are called hogs for a reason. Those hogs can eat and will taste every vegetable in the garden and leave very few if any un-munched.

Seeing this whistle pig, woodchuck, furry varmint prompted me to take offensive action. I ran upstairs to my bedroom on the second floor grabbed the .22 rifle with the telescopic sight and loaded one shell. I slid open the screen window. I poked the rifle between the curtains and looking through the scope, put the cross hairs on the hog’s nose, I shot out of the second story window to minimize the risk of over shooting and the bullet hitting a neighbor’s house this is the suburbs not the Wild West. With the cross hairs of the scope trained on this varmint’s nose I squeezed the trigger and nothing happened, I pulled the pump action rifle in the window and ejected the shell thinking “bad shell, miss fire” I loaded a new shell parted the curtains and took aim on Mr. Hog I squeezed the trigger again, no bang I ejected the shell and looked at the gun and figured it’s broke. I say, “Your lucky day groundhog.” and decide to go for a hike in the small strip of woods that run behind my house to an arboretum and nature preserve called Pine Hill.

There is a very small stream that runs along the back property line for about a mile and dumps into the Conodoguinet Creek (the crick as we called it). I followed this drainage through the woods and as I got further downstream, it ran into more of a valley with steep sides and covered with trees being the perfect setting for an arboretum. As I went on there were fewer and fewer houses till there were none and the sides of the valley became steeper and steeper, the one side being mostly pines a perfect setting for a place called Pine Hill. It was then I noticed four young boys sitting on the Pine Hill side of the valley about 75feet above me their ages about 7 to 11 years old. One of them the oldest, said “Hello, are there any good trails up on top of this hill?”

I said, “Not really there are some short trails on top, but the houses aren’t far away. If you want some nice big woods and cool over grown fields, on the other side of this valley are a bunch of places to explore.”

I had noticed a silver flash when I first saw the boys up on the hill. I figured it was a BBgun, so I said, “If you want to shoot any thing just shoot those sparrows they are pest birds”. The oldest boy the one with the gun said, “there aren’t any sparrows or any birds.” I thought to myself that probably wasn’t the best thing to say to those kids, but I felt the need to acknowledge that I knew that they had a gun. I said, “See ya later.”

They all said, “See ya.”

 I continued my hike down the trail thinking I could have handled that better, kids are going to shoot stuff they don’t need encouragement. Next time no mentioning shooting birds. It was then I heard the sound of something dropping out of the trees I didn’t think much of it. Then there was a tink, tink, tink a metallic sound and I felt something hit my back, I realized they were shooting at me.

I was pretty far away; forty yards maybe, they had to try very hard to hit me from that distance.

 I turned and ran back the trail to where I had seen those boys I saw one, the smallest boy just crossing the top edge of the hill about 200 feet above me. I ran to the top and saw the little one heading toward the houses I yelled “Hey!”

He then said, “They were shootin at you.”

 I said, “I know. Where did they go?” He made a looping sign in the air with his hand. I knew exactly what he meant they had been crafty enough to double back to where I was when I got hit or they might have been checking to see if they got me.

Good thing I ran up that hill, it tired me out I was calmer now. I walked across the top of Pine Hill as I went the hill tapered down toward the creek.

 I saw the other three boys standing where I was when I felt the bb on my back. I stood with a tree between me and the kids I took a deep breath and walked down the hill, one boy saw me and whimpered, “We’re sorry, we’re sorry.”

 I said, “Let me see that gun”, and the oldest boy handed to me and  I said, “Oh this is nice, but when I suggested shooting sparrows that was wrong. You shouldn’t be shooting anything and you won’t be shooting anything with this.” I held the gun and being careful of which way the barrel was pointed, a gun safety precaution. I smashed the gun. I knocked the scope off, broke the stock, banged the receiver against a rock and repeated, “You’re not going to shoot anything with this.”

I tossed the gun and walked up the hill, not looking back. After I had walked aways, I sat down on a log along the trail and thought, “I’m wound-up. Did I act right?”

I sat for a while and walked back to the spot of the smashing and found a few broken gun pieces but most was gone.

Still shaking, I walked home and I saw my neighbor Scott in his backyard and I told him my story. He was first, now I tell you the story.

 I just wonder what that groundhog was thinking.


The End