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THE WEEKENDER: The Strong Woman

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“Is There More Than One?”

By Claire Cooper Black

theweekender@live.com

When we first moved to Houston County, we didn’t have a fancy gate at the entrance to our property.  We had a standard aluminum pasture gate which we left open unless we were leaving for any extended length of time.

Then we had a few “visitors” driving down our driveway thinking it was a public road.  Now why anyone would think a gate on a road automatically makes it a public road is beyond me, but that’s what they would claim.  One day a pickup hauling an empty stock trailer made the trip half way down our driveway.  The Weekender was home and grabbed his pistol (it’s a former Marine/Law Enforcement Officer thing) and went out to greet the “visitors”.  When the Weekender got to the truck he exchanged a very few pleasantries and then asked what they were doing.  The response was something to the effect that they were “told” to go pick up some cows from this location.

I guess the “visitors” thought Clyde was going to fall for that line, but he informed them that this is their first and only warning about coming on our property “looking to pick up cows”.  So as the probable cattle thieves drove on down our driveway to turn around and leave, Clyde got their plate number and called it into our local sheriff’s office.

The next day, we called John Allen of Crockett Iron Works to come and install a solar powered gate.  These gates are great!  We didn’t have to get out in the sleet or rain or 100 degree plus weather to open the gate to enter or leave our property.  Nope.  Just push a little button and voilà.  Oh, how I love that gate!  But just like humans, as things age, issues will appear.

This past week I was getting ready to leave and go to town when the front gate wouldn’t open.  I got nothing.  I tried every trick I knew and still nothing.  First thought was the battery, but I’m trapped inside my gate and I can’t get to the store to get one.  The Weekender was out of town for a few days so, I was trapped on my property.  I called John Allen and he said that he would be out the next morning.  This made perfect sense since it was already 4:30 in the afternoon and it gets dark early these days.

I met John down at the gate the next morning and we were having a nice visit UNTIL we both smelled a strong pungent odor that seemed extremely close to us.  Earlier in the morning my dog had chased a skunk near our house out into the north side of our pasture.  Evidently the little guy had doubled back around a quarter of a mile and was now down at the south side of our property at the gate.  And I don’t mean somewhere close to the gate.  He was only about 20 feet away.  How did I know this?  I could hear him yelling at us while he unleashed his odorous signature.

He cut loose a couple of times before he moved a little further away from us.  John got the gate back in working order and I’m no longer a prisoner on my property.  EXCEPT … I don’t know where the skunk is! OR if there’s more than one!