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Mama and the Prowler

Updated on April 21, 2017

Mama sat in the dark house, in front of the open window, in a straight back wooden chair, the 12 gage, double barrel shotgun across her knees.


Mama, I and my two baby brothers lived at the foot of a Mountain, where a spot had been cleared for the house. The house sat on a plateau about six feet higher than the gravel road with steps leading up to the plateau.


Shyron in the cotton patch
Shyron in the cotton patch | Source

We lived across the road from the cotton fields.


The land across the road was flat as far as one could see, in that direction, and all planted in cotton fields, where we (me and 3 of my cousins and Mama) would hoe cotton in the spring, and early summer, and pick cotton in the late summer, and early fall, to earn the money to pay our rent, on the three room, log house, with a tin roof.


Mama said the reason for the rocks, and noise was to find out if she had a gun.



For over a week, someone had been throwing rocks at the tin roof, which would slide down and land on the ground with a thud, and the rocks made an awful racket.

I remember following Mama from window to window in the darkness, peering out to see if she could see who was out there in the night, so she would not be surprised by someone, climbing through one of the windows, but it was unlikely that the prowler would go to the rear of the house, for fear of stepping on a snake.


Dad was in service, and stationed in Egypt, and whoever was out there must have known that, and knew that Mama was alone, with three little kids, but he did not know about the shotgun.

Mama said the reason for the rocks, and noise was to find out if she had a gun in the house, but Mama had no intensions of letting the prowler know about the shotgun, until the time was right.

We lived miles from the nearest one horse town/store, on the gravel road, and to see a car was very unusual. Our, nearest neighbor, and landlord, Mr. Alexander, lived about a quarter mile away.


Tonight is the night honey, Mama whispered to me.


On one, particular night, there was no racket, no rocks thrown at the tin roof, and Mama sat in the dark house, in front of the open window, in a straight back wooden chair, the 12 gage, double barrel shotgun loaded with buck shot across her knees.

Tonight is the night, honey. Mama whispered to me, as I sat quietly on the wooden floor, holding onto the hem of her robe.


Mama sat up straighter in the wooden chair, and raised the shotgun to her shoulder and waited.

A car passed our house, and a little way down the road, it stopped, and the lights went out. Mama sat up straighter in the wooden chair, and raised the shotgun to her shoulder and waited.

The wait was not long.


The moonlight, that night was so bright, you could see the gravel road.


The steps to the plateau led to a narrow path that led to two more steps to get upon the porch, and on each side of the steps to the porch was a potted tree, about as tall as Mama (5 feet 2 inch). The moonlight, that night was so bright, you could see the gravel road, and the narrow path that led to the front porch, and the outline of the potted trees.


Mama pulled both triggers


Mama could see the figure of a man crawling up the steps to the path. We could see the man at the top of the steps was on all fours and with each move forward, he stood a little more. Mama sat still like a statue, and the figure crept closer, and closer, he took the first step to the porch, then second step, and just as the prowler lifted his foot to step onto the porch, "POW" because she pulled both triggers at once there was only one POW.

I only heard one shot, but because of the two holes in the window screen, and because all the leaves were gone from both the potted trees, that told me that, Mama had pulled both triggers.

The figure jumped as high as the two twigs that were once lush potted trees (the potted trees, must have saved the prowler from some of the buck-shot), and he landed on the path, on his backside, and the shotgun kicked Mama over backwards, chair and all, but before the man could get up off the ground, Mama was on her knees with the shotgun re-loaded.


Mama told him "you don't prowl around my house and get away with it.

Who are you? Mama yelled at him, and he told her his name, and he was someone that my Dad knew, and that was how he knew that Mama was alone. What are you doing around my house? Mama asked him. Just prowling around the prowler said. Mama told him "you don't prowl around my house and get away with it, and if I were you, I would get out of here as fast as I could, because my landlord lives just down the road and I am sure he heard my shots."

The prowler leaped down onto the gravel road, and we could hear gun shots, as Mr. Alexander shot at him.

The next day Mama was really angry. We had twigs for the potted trees on each side of the porch, and two big holes in the window screen, which would need repair/replaced. But I was no longer afraid of the dark, as long as my Mama had her shotgun.

Later that day, a friend of Mama's picked us up and took us to the nearest, big town, I think it had about five stores and a court house. We saw the prowler coming out of the one and only doctor's office, when he saw Mama, he ran down the street, in the opposite direction.

I have often wondered, if the prowler, explained to the doctor, how he got buck-shot in his pants, or should I say lead? And how he could run so fast after what he had been through the night before.


© 2012 Shyron E Shenko

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 2 hours ago from Texas

      Thank you Moonlake for reading and leaving a comment.

      Glad this reminded you of your Aunt Glendis and glad there are other women out there who are like my mom who have the spunk to face their fear/foes, but my could have lost her life (When a Gun for Protection...) when she was defending a child from being beaten.

      Blessings dear friend.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 11 hours ago from America

      This sounds like my Aunt Gledis. She lived in the country by cotton fields. Her husband had passed away. I was there one night when we could here the crunching outside. She put three little girls in a safe place and got her gun. Looking out the windows and doors but not seeing anyone. We did here him run into the tub outside after that she believed he took off.

      My mom and dad once gave her a dog for protection, she loved that dog. He would never let anyone in the door if he didn't know them. Someone poisoned him, she always believed she knew who it was.

      Enjoyed your story. Reminded me of home.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 12 hours ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comments, Blessings and Hugs. Yes mom could pretty much defend herself.

      Hope all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 9 days ago from North Texas

      This is such a great story and testifies how well a woman can take care of herself if need be. Unfortunate that these things happen, but if and when they do, it's good when a woman can manage herself, because often there's no one around to help anyway.

      Blessings and hugs for you both dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comment, compliment and sharing the story of my mom hair raising experience with a would be rapist/killer.

      We did not get any rain, but it sure was muggy and I cut grass. I hope the weather gets nice and the grass stops growing so fast.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 12 months ago from North Texas

      Thought I would come by and share this great story about your courageous mother again.

      Hard to believe the weekend is nearly here again. Has rained off and on for a while, but now it's mostly so humid one sweats from merely existing. Hope you and John are in a cool peaceful place. Take care my friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 18 months ago from Texas

      Dear Au fait, thank you for the comment, compliments (to my mom also) and for sharing.

      *

      An invitation to the NRA?

      Great! Are you going to accept?

      I hope if you're the target

      The bullets miss their mark

      Cause if they don't the NRA will us in the dark

      The NRA would never tell us what happened to Au fait

      If you attend their meeting and then just went away

      *

      *

      Blessings and Hugs my dear friend

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 18 months ago from North Texas

      Sharing this excellent article again. A great read! Kudos to your mother for standing up for herself.

      Great weather and a nice long spring from the looks. A little cool at night sometimes, but otherwise just right. Hope it never gets too hot, but of course it will. Did some political surveys today and forgot to mention I received an invitation from the NRA, can you believe it?

      Hope you and John are well and able to enjoy this weather while it lasts, and not out cutting grass either. Take care dear friend. May God bless you both . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 19 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you again for the visit, my mom was a brave and gutsy woman, like a momma bear, protecting her din and her cubs.

      I would love to write a tribute to her but my Hubber score would drop to 85 or below which is very disheartening.

      Love the warm weather, but right this minute it is 28° which is way too cold. I do hope you are snug and warm.

      Blessings and Hugs my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 20 months ago from North Texas

      Came back to share this excellent story again, about your very brave and gutsy mother. Everyone should read it.

      We've certainly had some great weather lately, just like it was most of the years I've been here, but seems it's about to end and back to the cold. At least so far this winter we haven't had any ice storms or snow. Hope all is well with you and John. Blessings and hugs for you both dear friend. Take care . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, for the comments and for sharing. I do appreciate you.

      Blessings and hugs, hope all is well with you.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 22 months ago from North Texas

      Came by to give this interesting story another share. I'm always impressed by how your mother took control of the situation.

      Hope you're having a good Friday!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comment and for sharing. I love mom's chutzpah too. She was a U-NEE-Q person, one of a kind.

      Blessings and Hugs to you. How this weather cools off soon, our neighbor is having a pool party, don't know if I can take the heat.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Sharing this again too. It's a great story and I love your mama's chutzpah.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Supuni, for the comment and the visit. My mama did have a lot of spunk.

      Shyron

    • Supuni Fernando profile image

      Supuni Fernando 2 years ago from Colombo, Sri Lanka

      I have great admiration for your mama. It takes more than god will to pull the trigger.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      ris8994, thank you for your kind comment and thumb up. Yes Mom was courageous and smart.

      Forgive the delay in thanking you for the comment and up votes, got stuff going on that interferes with my time on the computer.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, forgive the delay in thanking you for the comment and up votes, got stuff going on the interferes with my time on the computer.

      Blessings and hugs.

    • rls8994 profile image

      rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi

      What a great story! Your Mama was a very courageous and smart woman. It is an amazing and wondeful thing when a woman is protecting her children and the courage that surfaces when she believes her children are in danger! Loved this and definitely voted up! :)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Came back to share this again. One of your many stories about growing up that I enjoy so much. Pinned to AH and shared. Voted up and awesome, too.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, for the sharing, pinning. I hope you have a blessed day also my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Came back to share this on FB as well as with followers and pinned to AH. Hope you've had a good day! Blessings . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you so much for your comment. Yes mom had a lot of courage. Thank you for for the votes, pinning and sharing.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      This has always been one of my favorite stories. I admire your mother for courage and bravery. This is a great example of how mother's protect their children and their families everyday. A great read for Mother's Day coming up soon.

      Voted up, AI, pinned to AH, and sharing. Hope you are well and that we'll have a chance to talk soon. Seems like my weeks get fuller and fuller and I almost never talk to anyone. By the time I get home I'm all talked out . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Devika, thank you for your visit and your comments, I also appreciate you very much.

      You are welcome, I will share more as I remember more.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
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      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you again for your comment, votes, sharing and pin,

      which I appreciate, but most of all I appreciate you being my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub with such an interesting story about the bravery of you mom. You are sharing your stories from the heart.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      This is another of my favorites of yours. I really admire your mother's courage and I know she passed it on to you. Voted up and IA, and sharing. Also pinned this to Awesome HubPages.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Jaye, thank you for reading, commenting, up votes and sharing.

      The man knew my father and knew he was overseas WWII, and thought my mom needs male attention. and when he said just prowling around, that was probably all he could think of.

      Mom needed the gun not only for protection she did hunt some also for food.

      Mr. Alexander probably heard the mom shoot. And I am sure mom told him about the rocks thrown against the roof.

      Thanks again for the up votes and for sharing.

      Shyron

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, for your comment, sharing and the link to the Gummy Bear Heist, (one of my favorites of your). But your very best by far is 'Who is Homeless?"

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Shyron - I got goosebumps while reading this story as I waited...with your vigilant mom and you...in the dark. That guy must have been crazy to answer her question by saying that he was "...just prowling." He was practically asking to get shot again!

      I suppose he thought that the remoteness of your house would make it safe for him to prey on a lone woman and her small children. But your mom showed him he was wrong!

      Although I don't normally like the idea of people keeping guns in the home, I can see where it was a necessity back then for a woman living in a rural area with no one but herself to protect her children. Mothers can become like tigers in such a situation.

      From Mr. Alexander's reaction after hearing her shot, I imagine he would have gone to investigate had he not seen the intruder running from your property to his car.

      The scene where the prowler runs in the other direction when he sees your mom as he leaves the doctor's office shows that a five-feet-two-inches tall woman with courage can put fear into the heart of an evil man.

      Voted Up, Awesome and Interesting/Shared

      Jaye

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Adding a link to The Great Gummy Bear Heist. Sharing also.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait for voting this up and sharing. Yes mom was gutsy and had a lot of courage.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Voting this up and awesome again, and sharing. Your mother was a gutsy lady and I admire her courage.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, for the up vote I and A also for the share.

      I do feel much better. We came home from Church and did a lot of brush bundling for brush pick up, not finished but did put a dent in it.

      I hope all is well with you.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Really like this story. Your mother was one gutsy lady and I always admire women who stand up for themselves. I know you do too -- stand up for yourself that is. Another up and IA, and will share.

      I really hope you're feeling much better today. Even a few hours with a migraine is way too long, but 3 days? I know that is hell on earth . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait I really appreciate that you pinned this hub.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      One of my favorite hubs -- I'm going to share it again. Also, discovered it wasn't pinned and so I've corrected that.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Jen for reading and commenting on my hub. I really appreciate your visit.

    • profile image

      Jen 4 years ago

      What a great story. Good for your mama! A lot of women would be afraid to do what she did. We need more women like your mama to stand up for themselves and what's right.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      I know exactly what you mean. He is a manly and seemed to be kind to everybody.

      I can't remember hearing any of his songs, I wonder if they are on Youtube?

      Robert Mitchum sings The Ballad of Thunder Road, I am playing right now. This should have been written for some of my ancestors who made moonshine.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Robert Mitchum was one of my favorites also. I remember how odd it seemed for him to play "against type," playing the villain in this movie when I was accustomed to seeing him play the hero.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      I think I may have seen the movie, but don't remember much about it.

      Robert Mitchum is one of my favorite actors. I think he was in "Track of the Cat" before that and "The Man With the Gun" just after. Thank you for reminding me.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      The book was written in 1953 by Davis Grubb. It was made into a movie in 1955 with Robert Mitchum starring as the villain.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Silva, for your comment I am glad you liked the story of my mom. I have not "Night of the Hunter," but have made myself a note for the next time I go to the Library.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I love this hub. Your way of writing pulls me right in. My mom was the same kind as yours, she would sit up all night and protect us. Have you ever read the book "Night of the Hunter?" It's one of my favorite books ever, and it has a scene toward the end where the elderly woman sits up all night with her shotgun, protecting her foster children, while an intruder prowls around her house.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Barbara for your comment, yes she was couragious.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      This was a great story. Your Mama must have had a lot of courage.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait for reading, commenting and sharing. I really appreciate it.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Just left a comment and where did it go? Good for your mom showing this guy what for. Voted it awesome and shared.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Mom was an amazing person. Thank you Au fait. for the comment.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I really like this story. Sharing because it just goes to show a person can do more than they might think they can when the chips are down.

    • profile image

      Glenda Jacks 4 years ago

      Oh my, it must have been scary for you after what you and you mom experenced?

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, I also admired mom's toughness. Thank you for the Pin and sharing.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This is an amazing story and I have told you many times how I admire your mother's toughness. I'm pinning this hub to my "Exceptional Women" board because I believe your mother was truly exceptional when she stood up this cowardly assailant and protected her children. Also going to share again in case some of my followers haven't read this amazing story.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      What a brave lady your mother was!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      A great and enduring story.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This is a perennially good story.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This is such a good story about how brave your mother was during a very scary situation! Glad you wrote about it.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate you.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Very interesting hub, especially when read in conjunction with your most recent hub about sometimes having a gun handy doesn't always work out the way you think it will. Great stories!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Peggy for stopping by and for you comment. Yes it was scary. Mom was almost killed with the same gun. I do not like guns, but I am a good shot and will use one if I have to.

      Thanks again for your comment.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Peggy for stopping by and for you comment. Yes it was scary. Mom was almost killed with the same gun. I do not like guns, but I am a good shot and will use one if I have to.

      Thanks again for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      That must have been a scary time for you kids and your mother...but at least she was prepared to defend herself and her family with that shotgun....and did!

      We did not have guns but had dogs to defend us in the country when I was a child growing up. One time there was a prowler and the dogs set up such a commotion that he left with no problems. He had actually escaped from a mental institution. He may or may not have intended any harm. We will never know. My mother called for help and he was caught and returned to the place where he had escaped. It was easy for the men who came to catch him as there was snow on the ground and there were tracks to follow.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Yes she was, and I miss her. thank you Au fait for you comment, I really appreciate you.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This is such a great hub as an example that we can often do more than we may think we can. Your mama was a tough lady!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Appreciate your coming back Au fait.

      That was not the only experience in that house. There were many memories there.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Really like this recollection of your mother's experience. A scary experience, but she got through it and prevailed!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks again Au Fait, for your comments.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I really enjoy this hub. I like to read about women with gutts!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Au fait, Yes mom was a brave woman, and had a lot of spunk.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Your mother was a brave lady. Great hub!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      Thank you mphsglo, for commenting on my story, it is a true story. I have a couple of similar ones, but don't know if I should. Will have to think long and hard about telling them.

    • mphsglo profile image

      mphsglo 5 years ago

      Very nice story.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image
      Author

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Au fait for taking the time to read my story.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Must have been scary at the time. Good for your mama, defending herself and her family! One thing most of the southern states have going for them is that you can defend yourself, your family, and your property. That isn't true in most northern states.

      Great story!