No, not the novel.
Belle has been having a running battle with a mockingbird that thinks our backyard is his/her personal domain. That bird harasses the cats, swoops down on Belle, and generally makes herself a nuisance. Belle doesn't like mockingbirds to start with, and this one has gotten on her last nerve.
Yesterday, that bird was being a pest, and Belle says, rhetorically, "I need a BB gun."
I looked at her, and asked, "Really?:
"Yean", she says. "That bird can't take a hint. I need a BB gun."
When I was a stripling youth, I had a Crossman pellet rifle. It was a wood-and-steel model, and it pumped up and I shot all manner of varmint with it. Squirrels, blackbirds, starlings, that sort of thing. I carried it and shot it for years, until it was completely worn out, and I had graduated to bigger weapons.
So, today I hied myself down to Wally-world and found a Crossman. The Legacy 1000. It comes with an el-cheapo scope. Really, a horrible little scope. While my old Crossman was wood-and-steel, this one is plastic-and-plastic. I suppose there is some steel in it somewhere. And, I picked up some pellets.
It works like my old rifle. Pump it to the desired level and load a pellet. I checked the manual and it tells me that two pumps is about 550 fps, which should be sufficient for an errant mockingbird.
Then, because I was in the shop and couldn't help myself, I took down an old campaign sign, put it against a steel backer, and let fly. Three shots at 30 feet.
That's one ragged hole. Not bad for a cheap rifle, a horrible scope, and an old man with bad eyes.
I'll teach Belle how to use it this afternoon. I believe that the mockingbird just got a whole new set of problems.