A Cautionary Tale

(originally published in 1995)

“Twas two weeks after Christmas, and all through the house

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

My spouse in his skivvies, and I in my long shirt

were asleep behind bars, our burglar alarm on alert.

When out on the lawn there arose such sounds

I sprang for my pistol and loaded two rounds.

Armed with the knowledge of my concealed gun permit

I flung open the door and shouted “That’s it!”

With alarms shrilly blaring and disturbing the night

I raced from my house, the intruder in sight.

He was off like a flash, dodging wildly between cars

I gave wind to the chase guided only by stars.

Down the street we two flew past a neighborhood lot

’til I pointed my gun and let off a shot.

Alas, with a target that moved and a light so uncertain

that shot went astraythrough a neighbor’s lace curtain.

It landed three feet from the homeowner’s bed,

broke the window, a lamp and grazed the neighbor’s head.

The crook (if he was one) got clean away,

the neighbor, however, filed suit the next day.

I turned to my insurance but then a surprise!

I’d been off my property – the claim was denied!

No costs of defense, no paid lawyer’s fees,

no coverage for judgment…I was knocked to my knees.

Paying thousands of dollars slaked my gunslinger thirst

I still have my permit, but I call police first.