THE HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS

Our skirmishes aren’t as famous as the Hatfields and McCoys, but they’re just as real. It’s a battle of boundaries, territory, the fight over property. The type of conflict can vary, but what sometimes begins as a fight for justice can get twisted, fueled and escalated by frustration and pride.

Hatfields and McCoys

image courtesy of photo bucket.com

Seems you can take anything good and decent, no matter how big, how grand, and even a pinch of pride can poison the whole kit and caboodle.

We were neighbors. Not particularly close, we just sorta tolerated one another. But as the old saying goes, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”. That’s what happened with the Hatfields and McCoys.

It went from being mildly annoyed, to all out war. I should never have allowed them to cross my property line… that’s what I get for being a nice guy.

After they stayed for a season, I couldn’t get them to leave. I tried to gently persuade them, but they refused. In fact, to add insult to injury, they invited their family to join them at my house! That’s when things began to get ugly.

I began to throw rocks at them every time I saw them. It rattled them a bit, but they didn’t leave. I guess to get even with me, they began to defecate even more right in front of our front door. There would be no turning back.

I put spikes up, but they nested between them. I put up more, but the trespassing pigeons just moved up the roof. I spent hours and days putting up chicken wire. They moved to the other side of the roof. I put spikes there, no dice. I put up chicken wire while the flying rats watched me from my chimney. They just nestled beside the new chicken wire.

I read up on my enemy, but none of the recommendations worked. The only thing I hadn’t tried was eliminating them… permanently. Like Solomon said, there’s a season for everything, and it was hunting season at my house.

I bought the most powerful pump pellet gun and hollow point pellets to send my uninvited enemy to the big bird bath in the sky.

I was a decent shot with my brother’s BB guns as a kid, and with my rifles and pistols as an adult… somehow that didn’t translate into pumping pigeons full of lead. With each missed shot over the next three or four months, my frustration and hatred grew. They became so accustomed to me shooting at them, I had to sneak up on them… just to watch them fly away… bird laughing.

It was just before sunset. I’d flanked the trespassers and surprised them as they began to fly away again. I shot. He fluttered and fell… and so did my stomach, hatred, and frustration.

Although they carry diseases and do property damage, the justification didn’t bring me joy.

Not every prudent action we take in life makes us happy. And I’m reminded it should be about perspective… without pride.

Our skirmished aren’t as famous as the Hatfields and McCoys, but they’re just as real.