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Posted 4/08/14 (Tue)


I just finished installing a new sliding screen door on our porch door. I’ve told you about it before. Vern Baker, the world famous Australian Shepherd, has an aversion to screen doors. He long ago learned that he can rip screens off windows and doors and I’m sure he thinks he is doing the right thing. If he wants in, and you aren’t there to open the screen, he will come in. If he wants out, he goes out.
But this time I went the extra mile. Or the extra hundred dollars, whichever you feel is best suited. I put in an aluminum screen costing two hundred dollars. If this doesn’t work, we may just have to ask Vern to run away. But working on the screen reminded me of another door.
Years ago, in a land far, far away, we had a screen door on the ranch house that was in need of repair. Shirley had been after me for quite awhile to fix the door on the porch. I kind of put it off. She hadn’t married a carpenter. She had married a cowboy. One day there was a rattlesnake on her CattleWoman of the Year plaque! Really! A small, but very agitated rattlesnake in Shirley’s office on her CattleWoman stuff. Even I don’t touch her CattleWoman stuff! That snake was committing suicide. She insisted I fix the door. After seeing what she did to that snake, I was thinking maybe I should. In a day or two.
A couple nights later, she awoke me with a sharp jab of her elbow. I mean she really whacked me. She could hear a burglar in the living room. I listened. I have bad ears. But, then I heard it! There had to be more than one! We lay there whispering. I kept urging Shirley to peek out and see how many there were. She said I had to. I was the man. I hated to argue. We couldn’t call the cops. We lived 35 miles from town. And the cops didn’t like me anyway.
As we listened, I heard them move some furniture. There had to be more than one. I quietly slipped out of bed and began to dress. Shirley was a little agitated that I was taking time to dress. I had a reason. I didn’t want to be in my underwear when the ambulance came for me.
I tiptoed over to the closet and found a Ping driver. That is a golf club for you less educated. I quietly eased down the hall, stopping to listen. I had to go to the bathroom. It sounded like there were at least two, possibly three. My legs were shaking like a kid getting on his first bareback horse. I wanted to throw up. But I had to protect my young wife.
I got to the living room light and was recalling my Fort Leonard Wood training. I was a killing machine. I flipped the light on, let out an Apache war whoop and charged into the fray! I may die, but I was going to get the first swing in.
It scared the Hell out of Okie. Okie was a saddle horse that was teaching the kids to barrel race!
In the morning, I fixed the screen door. A fly or two is one thing. A small snake is kind of bad. But when a 1,300-pound horse can get through the screen, it’s time.