"BANG!" WHAT? "Hahaha! Bang-bang!"
Great. Someone who sounds about 12 is shooting things. Well, I'm on holiday. I'm off duty.
"Gwon! It's still up there shoot!"
Damn. Now I have to do something. If I were a normal person and not a teacher, I'd leave it. Just be cool, Shark, even if they wind you up with jokes about shooting birds.
"Hello. I know you, but I haven't seen you with a gun before."
"It's not ours. We borrowed it."
"And we're only practising. On tin cans. Look."
"OK, but I heard you say 'magpie', 'sparrow' and 'the one on the drainpipe'."
"Yeah, but we were only joking."
"How old are you?"
"Er, 18. We wouldn't shoot birds. We might shoot you, though. Ha hahaha!"
Annoyingly, the neighbourhood feels like my classroom when things like this happen. That's why I've just gone and made it personal, and therefore worse. I can't sit in my garden now. Not with just a lilac bush between me and a .22 rifle. They'll get bored eventually. Meanwhile, let's see what's on television.
"Bang! Pyaooww... Bang!"
Oh, for goodness' sake! I do quite like Westerns, though.
"Yah see how id is? Whah, ain't nobody else in this town can make 'em change thar ways. Yah gatta stay!"
"Whaddya want me to do write a ledder to thar momma?"
That's it. Write to the parents! The googly-eyed one who said he'd shoot me I know where he lives. Now where's ma darn pen? OK, whose idea was it to call those things "air guns"? "Hey, Huckle, this thang don't do no harm. Why, jist shoots air!" "Doggone don't, you eedyut. Raght, that's done. I'll jis ride on over with it an' we'll see what happens at sunrise...
Mighty quiet this mornin'. I don't like it... Reckon I might wait a while and see if they've quit shootin' for real... Well, whaddaya know? A liddle note fer me!
"Thanks for writing. I didn't know my sons were playing with guns. Will make them stop. Sorry."
Yep. Sheriff Shark did it the hard way. Took on the momma. Real quiet round here now, but good quiet, if ya know whadda mean. Not mouth-dry quiet like the summer of '06. Back then it wuz too darn hot to shoot. Kinda strange recallin' it now, with the rains an' all.
Last summer, cowboys rode to hell to cool down. Nothin' strolled the sidewalks but tumbleweed an' dust. Rain became a memory, then a story people told but nobody believed no more. But this year why, we had Noah's Flurd all over agin. Yer might say Sheriff Shark swam right in with it. Haw haw!
We could kinda use someone like that up at the ol' schoolhouse come September. Someone real mean.
More from Emily in a fortnight