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The Fire (WTB)

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posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 10:38 PM
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In July of this year, one of the farmers who owns land right next to us thought it would be ok to give permission to a hunting outfit who makes their living taking people out to rural areas to hunt wildlife. Although this particular hunting outfit advertised on the web that all the land hunted on was owned by them, in reality this guy went to every house out here asking for permission to bring a party of hunters to hunt prairie dogs.

We had told them no, but the people who own the property next to ours don't live on it and haven't farmed it in over 20 years, so they said fine.

First thing in the morning, the hunting outfit shows up with four guys who have large caliber guns big enough to bring down an elephant. There's nothing like paying $300 to sit by the side of a highway in 110 degree heat, shooting helpless rodents popping out of their holes in a sick game of whack-a-mole.

The entire day sounded like we were living in a war zone. Bullets were whizzing over the house, and my husband had to drive over and tell them twice not to shoot in the direction of our house. Round about lunch time, after God knows how many beers these guys had ingested, they were just shooting dirt, sending it 25 feet in the air. One yayhoo decided to take a pot-shot at a hawk resting on a electrical pole.

In an instant, the electrical wire was severed and fell into our field, igniting a grass fire on a windy day. My husband went out onto the front porch to have a smoke, and he suddenly yells, "FIRE"!

Fire out here on the grassy prairie was my biggest fear. The winds were whipping at close to 30 mph in the direction of our house, and it hadn't rained in months, so the dry grass was burning at an alarming rate. When that yayhoo shot the electric wire, he cut the electricity to our house and so we had no power to get water from our well to defend ourselves from the flaming juggernaut streaming towards us.

All I could do was stand in the front yard and shake in my flip flops. My husband first called our nearest neighbor, who owns many hundreds of acres and farms all of it. Then he called 911. I thought it was odd that he would call the neighbor first, but I was petrified with fear over flames leaping 15 feet in the air and the wind carrying it in our direction.

Our fire department is all volunteer and is 13 miles away. I felt sure that our house would be a smoldering wreck by the time they got here. One guy drove up 1/2 mile from the road and said, "I just wanted to make sure y'all knew there was a fire." I stood there with big frozen eyes and said, "Yeah, I see it." "Cool. OK then, " was all he said, and then drove away.

I am usually good in a crisis, but seeing those flames and not having a drop of water coming from the hose turned me into a blubbering baby. All I could do was stand in my yard and cry as the flames raced towards us.

A few miracles happened right then. I choose to call them miracles, as I have no other explanation. I remembered when I was small and in Sunday School, we were told that, when we were scared, to get on our knees and pray to God our father to help us. That's exactly what I did. I dropped right there on the lawn, shaking, and all I said was "God, please help us! We have no defense! Please don't let our house burn up!"

I then had an odd feeling of peace that came over me, like I was in the eye of the hurricane. Suddenly, the wind changed direction 180 degrees and started blowing away from our house. I stood there and thought I was imagining it, but it had definitely changed direction. I was absolutely in awe.

The second miracle was, the neighbor sent his farm workers over in their work trucks to fight the fire. They didn't have water, but they did have trucks, and used them in the most amazing way. They backed up to the fire and then spun the back wheels, causing a shower of dirt to smother the fire. They went back and forth doing this, until the volunteer fire department showed up with a truck and doused the rest of the flames with water. The workers could have damaged their trucks by getting in front of the fire so closely, but they knew what had to be done and weren't a bit scared to do it.

I was overcome with gratefulness, both to God, whom I assumed had stopped listening to my prayers when I was a little girl, and grateful to our wonderful neighbors, who didn't hesitate one second to come over and help a neighbor in distress. The fire chief stated that we were awfully lucky the wind changed direction when it did, or we might not have had a house left.

Oh, and those beer-swilling hunters? As soon as they saw that they had shot the power line and caused a fire, they packed up their guns and gear and burned rubber getting away from the area.

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about our caring, quick-thinking neighbor, his brave employees, our true-blue volunteer fire department, and my husband, how kept cool while I had a nervous breakdown. As for those drunk idiots hunting prairie dogs with .40 and .50 caliber rifles, if they come 'round next year asking for permission to shoot at our prairie dog town, I'll pull out our double-barreled shot gun and tell them, "Only if I can shoot at you first."




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