Recently two of our sheep were killed dead by a rogue cougar. He thinks he can just eat whatever he wants. Rude. I was gonna eat that sheep.
Anyways, I'm joking about it now, but it is really bothering me. I deal with my emotions through sarcasm and humor... not sure if it's healthy, but I seem to be coping.
These sheep aren't the first animals we've lost to the wild animals. We've had raccoons eat our chickens, weasels eat our quail. Heck, even our dog has eaten our chickens... which is why he has to be kenneled if we leave the house when the chickens and ducks are free-ranging. Rotten dog. The thing about raccoons and weasels is... they can't eat me. A cougar could chomp me up. And I know I couldn't outrun it (which is the opposite of what you should do!). I saw the mess it made of our mama sheep. Shudder. So, I've only run on our driveway twice since this event. And it has been in the middle of the day, and I've kept the dog with me, and I have been super jumpy. Ugh.
My hubby is a hunter, gun owner, self defense instructor, Army veteran... he eats bullets for breakfast.
I, on the other hand, have shot a gun a handful of times, have always been nervous around them, and find every excuse in the world to not shoot or own my own gun. I always thought if I ever did decide I was going to join the madness, I would start with my eight-year-old's BB gun. Or an Airsoft.
Until today. I spent most of last night having awful dreams about catching the cougar returning for our remaining sheep and trying to shoot it with whatever I could find. Or not having a gun. Or just wounding it because I grabbed the pellet gun on accident. Crazy. I woke up to shine a flashlight toward the sheep shelter at least twice. I really don't feel like running out by the house anymore, and that bothers me a lot. I've been thinking about what I need to change so that I don't feel so vulnerable. It's not that I doubt God will take care of our family, or is it? I've had my share of fears and had to seek and pray to work through it all, but I also am not going to be completely lax about this... This is a bit of a balancing act for me. Cougars are real, tangible animals... but, my God is the God of heaven and earth. He can "shut the cougar's mouth" (to edit a phrase from Daniel). I'm going to pray about the fear, but be realistic and smart about playing it safe. Am I making sense? I think I might have stopped making sense when I started typing.
So, I sought advice from my SPA sisters today. They are active. Some runners. And I bet some are way more experienced and seasoned that me. I was right. Within hours I had tons of ideas, and I am seriously considering a running holster and a weapon. One of them said it best, 'Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.'
Chances are, I'll never need it. God is watching out for me. But I'm pretty sure He won't mind if I take some incentive and do a little watching out for myself. David was a man after God's own heart, and he had to kill lions and bears who were trying to eat his sheep. I'm a woman after God's own heart, and I'm lucky to have slightly more advanced weapons. To protect myself and my sheep.