I’m Married to a Ten Year Old Boy

Don’t get me wrong, I love Mitch with a passion and ninety percent of the time he acts like any normal man in his sixties. He takes his responsibilities seriously, has a strong work ethic and for the most part makes good decisions. If you ask almost everyone that knows Mitch, they will tell you he’s an old soul. He is usually pretty serious, doesn’t smile much, which scares a lot of people. He’s reserved and holds himself back a bit around people. Mitch is definitely not in the group labeled that the collective IQ drops when a bunch of guys get together. But every once in a while the ten year old boy comes out to play.

Because we pheasant hunt, we own bird dogs which require daily exercise. Our walks include both dogs sniffing the ground checking the scents left behind by other animals. Squirrels, raccoons and possums beware; these two will sniff them out and if we let them, will give chase. Squirrels run in fear because Charlie is fast enough and has caught and killed a few; Orso goes along for the ride. Geese are another favorite that the dogs love to chase. As long as the geese are not nesting, it is legal to harass geese with dogs in order to make the area less desirable to them. Geese are pretty lazy and will stay around and take over an area if not managed by different means, such as egg shaking and using dogs to make the geese fly. You can’t let your dog attack and kill them, though.

The ten year old boy thought that it was pretty cool to let the dogs chase the geese and make them fly. Well the geese only flew as far as the lake and landed in the water. That did not stop the dogs, only slowed them down a bit. Charlie and Orso jumped right in and started swimming after the geese. The geese swam up and down the lake with the dogs in hot pursuit and refused to come back when called. The two just kept swimming away after the geese to the other end of the lake. Problem one – Mitch discovered that there was no way he could get to the other end as quickly as the geese and the dogs would. Problem two – how would he get to other end quick enough to catch the dogs? Mitch had to run home jump in the station wagon and drive to the other side of the lake. He got there just in time to see the geese and the dogs turn around and start back the way they came. The ten year old boy quickly figured out that the dogs would drown from exhaustion if he couldn’t get them to come out of the water. This meant that he might have to jump in and swim out to them. Mitch finally caught Charlie’s attention and coaxed him to shore, with Orso following. I had two very tired dogs and one husband in the dog house.

One of our neighbors put a deer target out in his front yard propped up against a small tree. The start of our walk yesterday morning was just about sunrise still fairly dark, and the dogs didn’t notice anything, but on the way home the sun had come up and was a lot brighter out. Charlie saw the deer first and froze just staring at the deer; Orso swung around and saw what had captured Charlie’s eye. Both dogs stood stock still waiting for the deer to make a move so they could give chase. Of course Mitch encouraged Charlie to get a closer look, just like a little kid. Charlie lunged at the deer causing Orso to follow suit. The deer statue didn’t move, the dogs felt foolish and now I had a ten year old boy rolling on the ground laughing at the prank. All I could do was stand there, shake my head and roll my eyes.

My Scathingly Brilliant Idea

I came up with this scathingly brilliant idea on our walk this morning.  Saturday is Mitch’s day off too so we get to sleep in, as late as 4 to 4:30am if we’re lucky.  The morning was really pleasant, around sixty nine degrees or so, a great morning for a walk.  The sun hadn’t been up long, about 6:30 when we got to the dam, no one else was around.  It really is the best time of the day, quiet, the sun just up, it’s so peaceful. 

Anyway, as we turned around to walk back, I looked over at the swim beach and all of the migratory geese that don’t migrate anymore, just hang out and poop all over the place.  Why should they go anywhere, we have no natural predators around anymore, besides the wayward car or some sicko with a pellet gun.  They’re not even afraid of the dogs, only because we won’t let them go after the geese. (Federally protected, lucky geese)  That’s when I came up with this scathingly brilliant idea.

I think we should release alligators in the lake at night, then catch and pen them up during the day.  Watch gators to protect the lake.  We would even put up signs, to alert the public.  Big signs posted around the lake saying, ” Beware – Watch Gators Swim At Own Risk”.  It’s a win-win situation.  Geese go away, trespassers get eaten. 

Mitch looked at me like I was crazy when I told him my idea.  He asked just how were we supposed to catch the alligators in the mornings.  I said  that we would get trained alligators.  Trained to come when they were called.  It could happen. 

He said I was warped.  Maybe I am.