Abigail says: About a week ago, Shotgun and I went on our final shoot of the season. After a pleasant day with the pheasants, strolling around Good Easter, we headed back to our our host’s house for a warming cup of tea. No sooner had I eased off my wellies then Shotgun chipped in “drink up wifelet, we have ducks to shoot in 20 minutes”. This was news to me, but as he assured me that “I’d love it” and it would be “great fun”, I accepted my wifely duties, and climbed into the car to drive towards the pond. The sky was beginning to darken, and it was only when we arrived at the estate that I realised all the other SWAGS (shooting wives and girlfriends) had sloped off back to their warm agas and Horlicks. This, I said to myself, is NOT a good sign.
The joys of duck shooting
We picked up our torches, plastic bags to sit on, guns, summoned the dogs and headed for the water. As I squatted in the darkness, inching slowly closer and closer to Shotgun for warmth, teeth chattering and no feeling left in my toes, I expressed that perhaps duck shooting was not really something that women were particularly cut out for. “You just wait til the ducks come” he gleefully replied. A couple of geese and three ducks later, and there was a low rumble of thunder and a flash of forked lightning. Suddenly the wind picked up and the storm started to roll in towards us. My father-in-law, the health and safety stickler among us, began counting the seconds between the flashes of lightning and thunder. The count was dropping from 13, to 10, to 7… It started to occur to me that being in a field in a thunderstorm with a long metal gun next to a large body of water would not be looked favourably upon by Natural Selection.
And then the heavens opened. But not with rain. It was hail. Big bloody lumps of hail, the size of marbles. By this point my entire body had begun to convulse in shivers. Shotgun chivalrously removed his thick tweed jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders, then moved into position to pick off some more birds. As lumps of melted hail slid down the back of my neck, through gritted teeth I informed him: “Darling, just so you know, I’m REALLY not enjoying myself yet.” I vowed there and then to firstly purchase thicker welly socks upon my return to civilisation and secondly to take heed that, when the other, more experienced women depart, it means they know something you don’t, and should quickly follow suit.