chicken wire fence

Jim Dandy to the Rescue

by Saṃsāran  

As many of you know I grew up, in part, on a ranch in Washington State in America. Now, this was not one of the huge ranches you see in Wyoming or Montana but about 600 acres of grazing land carved out of the primeval temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. An island of grass in an ocean of forest. On this ranch along with the horses, steers, bulls and dairy cow we also raised chickens. Not for meat but for eggs. We had to keep our chickens protected by wire fencing above and below because we were regularly visited by hawks and eagles as well as mountain lions, foxes and bears.

We had a dog named “Jim Dandy” after a song made popular by the 70s country rock band Black Oak Arkansas. Jim was a Jack Russell terrier. Now terriers are small, wiry dogs. They, as all terriers, were originally bred as rat catchers for farms. Jack Russells are fast, strong for their size and extremely intelligent.

Rats are a big problem because they carry disease, get into the animal feed and spoil what they don’t eat. They also will eat eggs and kill chickens. Now these farm rats are even meaner and a lot bigger than their city cousin the New York subway rat. They are big, as big as a small cat, with long sharp yellow teeth. Nasty critters.

Jim Dandy was not a rat catcher. He was too small for serious ratting. He was just a family pet.  One time my dad noticed that some of the chickens were missing and figured either a fox or coyote was digging into the coop under the fence. So, he increased his vigilance by this I mean assigning us boys to stay awake to see if we could get the critter responsible for all the carnage. It was my turn to sit in a lawn chair covered with a sleeping bag and stand guard. I had a thermos of hot chocolate and a box of graham crackers and Jim Dandy to keep me company,

It must have been the hot chocolate but I promptly fell asleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep but I awoke to a great commotion. A fight. In the chicken coop. My dad in his boxers and unlaced work boots carrying his shotgun burst out the house. I grabbed my pistol and sprinted toward the coop. Before we could get there the noise stopped. 

I shone the light into the coop and there was Jim Dandy, cut and bloody standing over the body of the biggest ugliest rat that any of us had ever seen. This guy was huge. The pupils of his eyes were dark red. Jim Dandy had apparently heard the rat and his old instincts kicked in and he tackled this giant rat without a thought. It was an epic battle, one for the ages. Jim Dandy to the rescue had saved the day. We took him to the vet who patched him up and kept him in quarantine to make sure the rat had not given him rabies but he healed up just fine. 


Lyric is the biggest escape artist. She can easily prod her nose under the pen and escape. She also once chewed through the chicken wire dig guards in the hutch and almost tunneled out! (Chicken wire is poor fencing and dig guards for ferrets because a willing one can chew through). 

But every time she wiggles from this pen I put her back and she eventually just finds something else more fun to do, like digging. The current dig guards in their hutch are made of tougher stuff and I’ve never had issues since. 

A Saga of Incompetence Part 2

Permanently stuck in first gear, they make their daring escape at 10mph, rolling over the tarmac, slowly crashing through the chicken-wire fence and out into the fields. After a little while they realise they’re being chased by two Sentinel walkers and a Chimera light tank, and it doesn’t take long for them to catch up. In a hail of Multilaser and Heavy Bolter fire the stair-car is shredded and flips.


Rolling a crit success, Tymaret forward-rolls out of the car and lands guns out. York is not so lucky and the car lands on top of him, forcing him to crawl out from underneath it in an undignified fashion. However one of the walkers attempting to shoot him rolls a crit-fail, trips in a ditch and faceplants, breaking the driver’s neck.


York attempts to cast Doombolt multiple times, mostly failing and summoning light gust of wind after light gust of wind on the Phenomena table. Eventually he succeeds and strikes the Chimera with five bolts of psychic death, leaving it a smoking wreck. As the last Walker advances he tries one last time. It doesn’t work, but instead he rolls technology malfunction on the Phenomena table, shorting out the Walker’s multilaser. Darting forward, Tymaret succeeds in a Called Shot on the Driver, as well as setting him on fire with his Flamer, eliminating the threat.


At this point, a cog-boy - aka a random friend IRL who had just turned up at the house - crawled out of the wreckage of the tank. York noticed him and charged towards him, trying to Compel him to drop his gun. He failed yet again, but managed to call up a slightly stronger gust of wind which made the cog-boy fall over. He kept hold of the gun though and tried to shoot anyway - crit failed and fried his own foot. Tymaret ran over to try and keep him from dying so they could interrogate him. He then promptly crit failed and slashed open an artery, flubbed the roll to fix his fuck-up, and the cog-boy died.


Not ones to let horrific incompetence get in their way, Tymaret commandeered the tripped Sentinel whilst York hung onto the back of it like a grotesque backpack, and they set off for the city. Of course, since Tymaret still didn’t know how to drive, they did this by moonwalking backwards the whole way. Upon arrival Tymaret tried to turn around so he could shoot things but failed, simply moonwalking in place. Sighing, York got down, picked the Walker up and physically turned it around the right way. Tymaret then set some trees on fire.