Ever since I was a kid I was enthusiastic about the military, as I am sure a lot of other boys were. But I, however, was more then the average boy. I spent every day thinking or doing something that I thought related to the military. I had camo with real patches, a red rider BB gun, boots, swords, shields, army men, army legos, camo netting and a fort, fake guns, sandbags, empty bullet casings, ammo boxes etc. I would run for hours out there in the desert pretending to shoot bad guys. Rattlesnakes? Mojave Greens? King Cobras? I didn't care. I thought I was a tough Army guy. Until my first enemy attacked.....
See, my mom had a horse ranch, about two and a half acres in the Mojave Desert. When we first moved there, I was probably about three or four years old. I remember there were only a couple other houses out there and we were pretty much out in the boonies. Well, as the years progressed more and more houses were built around us. Of course I had grown up there so I felt it only necessary that the land belonged to me, and it was part of my "territory".
Our house faced North and sat on a slight hill that overlooked our entire property. To the south of us was another house, which happened to be my babysitter. To the west was the road, running North/South and heading uphill going southbound. We had horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, fish and a donkey. To the east was clear, open, and quite ugly dry desert landscape. That was were I imagined the "bad guys" came from and of course I always had my positions facing that direction.
I remember a bunch of construction workers coming in to build a new house, but cannot quite clearly remember how long it took. At first the outer structure went up really fast, but then I remember it sitting for a long time. My friends and I would walk through it like it was a blown up enemy bunker. All of a sudden the workers came back to finish the house.
One day, as I was walking through the vacant houses' property, and old woman came out. She yelled "Get off my property little boy! You are trespassing!" I was only 8 or 9 years old and I remember thinking, but I was here first. Rage filled my little mind. I immediately knew that she was the enemy. She moved to the east of me. Enemy territory. She yelled at me. Enemy. She would not even let me step foot on the ground I used to walk thousands of times before. The war was on. So I began to develop a plan of action.
That night, I suited up around 9 PM in my desert camo, put a ski mask on, and snuck quietly out of my garage side door. I was like a miniature special forces soldier in my mind. Everything was covered. I had my pop-gun toy rifle, a folding shovel used in Vietnam, mechanix gloves, ski mask, desert camo. Thinking back on it now, if I had ever done that and a sheriff drove by, I would have been in HUGE trouble. But this was no mans land. I was on a top secret mission to set up a shooting position at night. I snuck carefully alongside the west side of our property. I had to be careful. My mother had planted cacti along the property line near the road, and I imagined this was my bases barbed wire. I quietly cursed to myself (not really, I was only 9. Most likely I said shucks) because it was a full moon and I could visibly be seen. When I got to the Southwest corner of our property, I was no longer under the cover of our house on the hill. I slumped down into a crouching position and devised a plan.
I began to crawl eastward as steadily as I could. It was a far distance, but I had all the time in the world. It was summer break, and most of my friends lived in town. My sister had horse riding lessons early in the mornings and my mom worked a full time job for the Naval Base. I was all on my own, me and that evil old lady.
Probably close to an hour later, I made it to the property line on the east side of our property. I laid there, quiet and listening to see if the enemy was on to me. I pulled the folding shovel off my pack and began to dig a foxhole, to disguise myself if she was to come outside. It took forever to dig, the ground was hard and dry. Eventually, I had a nice sized little trench, that if need be, I could hide in by laying down completely flat. Now it was off to the real work.
I snuck across the property line. Inside my pack I had roughly ten or so fart bags. I low crawled to the walkway and strategically placed the fart bags along key places. Underneath her rocking chair. By the hose. In the dirt walkway by the garden. Right next to the driver side door of her car on the gravel driveway. As I was finishing setting up my mine field, I heard the front door creek open. A flashlight zipped across the yard and my adrenaline flew threw the roof. I couldn't get caught. I was special forces!!!!! I immediately ran around the garage and back to my trench. I could hear the loud crunching of dirt beneath my feet. I slid into the trench just in time to see the light fly right over my head. It was quiet for a few minutes. Then a few more. Finally, I got the nerve to look up out of my trench. She was on the other side now looking around with the flashlight. I felt I was safe but laid back down.
Within a couple minutes, POP! She had stepped on one of my strategically placed fart bags. I couldn't help but let out a giggle. My mission had been accomplished... The enemy was "gassed".
To be Continued......