After all the crazy that has been happening around here of late, I sniffed a chance to do something meaningful with the girls in the short space between naps and making dinner. So I rounded up the Air Venturi Bronco, the girls got their safety glasses, and we went out onto the porch for a bit of "chicken-and-sheep". That's the game in which one of the girls calls a target, and from Standard Ready I mount and hit it. (It started with two rimfire spinners at 10m, one a chicken, the other a sheep...and now it has expanded to include a second spinner sheep at 25y, self-sealing Newbold targets at 10, 25, and about 40, a paint can lid and a few soup can lids hanging in the spruce trees.)
Both girls got chances to load and call, and then we wound up with a variation in which each girl called which target they wanted me to hit at the same time, and if they didn't call the same one, I had to hit the target closest to the midpoint between them. A good mental processing exercise, with that many targets available!
After a bit, the 3yo decided to go back inside, and the 6yo then got her first chance with a manual stopwatch, timing my shots from her call to the hit, which she seemed to enjoy. And then I offered her the chance to take her first shot. She got a bit wide eyed and said sure.
Conditions were good. Vibe was good. We rested the Bronco's fore-end on the railing of the front porch/deck in my right hand, and she got pretty comfortably behind the rifle without having to lift it. We went through exactly what she was going to do with sight alignment, safety, and trigger, and I provided whatever elevation adjustment she needed with my right hand as she figured out how to look through the aperture and hold the post on the big yellow disk. Okay, ready? Breathe. Safety to Fire position. Back on post. Find trigger blade without pressing. Still on post. Okay, now start slowly pressing while staying on post, a little wobble is okay, slowly more press, slowly until--POP-THWAP--the trigger breaks. An obvious hit at the 10m line.
Finger straight. Smiles. She even asks me if we should put the safety back on before opening the action. (You do neither with this spring-piston breakbarrel design, but still, "A" for attitude!) We conclude and she goes in to tell Mom.
And so it begins.