It was a beautiful spring day. Like always, Big Brother Switzy was firing his guns outside. I watch him every day, hoping nothing goes wrong and that he remains safe. Those guns of his are awfully loud. For most people, it would be hard to find peace and quiet when he shoots, but I've grown used to the sound of those metal death tools. I spend my days cleaning, cooking, sewing, and reading. Big Brother takes good care of me, but he seems to never show any emotion. I wonder what runs through his mind all day.

I was hanging laundry on the clothesline outside one day, and Switzy was cleaning a small handgun of his. He called me over. "Hey, Liech, have you ever wondered how these things work? he asked. "I always have. It seems like magic how they are able to create a loud noise and then fire a small piece of metal that goes really fast." I replied. "Come here and I'll show you." he said. I got nervous because he never talked to me about firing a gun before. I wonder why he decided to. Maybe he wanted me to learn how to use one so I could be protect myself in times of need. Big Brother has always been there to protect me, and I guess it's about time i learned to fend for myself.

"Listen closely. This trigger releases this hammer which strikes a pin. That pin then hits the back of the bullet which is a small explosive charge that ignites the gunpowder inside the brass shell which then sends the lead bullet flying through the barrel." Switzy was very clear in explaining how it worked, but It was still a little difficult to understand. "I think I understand" I replied nervously. He then went inside and came out with a rifle. "Liechtenstein, this is the very first modern rifle I ever had, and now I would like to pass it on to you." I was excited and nervous at the same time, "Thanks Big Brother!" I replied. "I would also like to teach you how to use it he replied." I never used a gun before. Personally, I don't really like hurting people. I knew this would make Big Brother happy if I did this, and I love making him happy.

We walked onto a large field where he had a range set up. He then showed me how to properly hold a rifle. "Place the butt of the rifle in the small gap between your shoulder and your collarbone. This area is perfect for absorbing the recoil the rifle will create. Then put your hand on the bottom stock below the barrel and press your cheek against the back stock. Line up the front sight with the back sight. When you're ready, slowly take a breath in, and exhale as you slowly and steadily squeeze the trigger. He placed the rifle as he explained and then he fired a few rounds downrange. He hit the center circle each time. "You got it big brother!" I said in excitement. At this point, I was eager to try. "This rifle fires a 7.62 mm round, and is very powerful. Are you sure you can handle it?" I replied, "I think I can handle it."

He handed me the rifle and I held it up. It was a little heavy at first, and the sight was hard to align. I fired my first round and my shoulder flew back. It hurt a little at first, but then the pain wore off. I saw that the bullet made it's mark just on the outer ring of the circle. "How was that, Big Brother?" I asked. "Very good for your first time!" He replied. I then reloaded the rifle the way he showed me.

"You need to relax a little more though. Like I said: inhale, then exhale as you squeeze the trigger." I nodded and held the rifle up again. As I was aiming down the sights, I felt his arms wrapping around me as he helped me to gain a better hold on the rifle.

I aimed down the sight and took a deep breath in. Then I slowly squeezed the trigger as I exhaled. I heard a loud bang, and my shoulder was thrown back again. I looked up, and saw that the second hole I made was about five centimeters from the center. "You're improving already!" Switzy exclaimed. I never heard him get this excited before. He must've been really happy for me. I also noticed he had a large smile on his face. He almost never smiled unless he was really happy. I felt warm and excited inside to make him smile like this. I knew I had to hit that bullseye by the end of the day.

I looked up and saw It had begun to rain. "We should go in, you might catch a cold." He said. "I'm fine, thank you. I made some fresh tarts this morning. Feel free to have as many as you'd like" I replied. I was determined to hit that bullseye. I stayed out for hours and hours waiting to hit the mark. About two hours later, Switzy came out holding a basket of tarts in one hand, and an umbrella in another. I was cold, wet, and exhausted from shooting so much. My shoulder was throbbing in pain. "Liech, its time to go in. Come on now." he said. "Just one more round?" I pleaded. "Fine, make this last round count." he replied.

I loaded one final round into the the chamber, and closed the bolt. I steadily aimed down the sight, and took a deep breath in. I slowly exhaled, and squeezed the trigger. At the sound of the bang, the bullet was sent flying towards the target in the blink of an eye.

I waited nervously before I lowered my rifle. I hoped I did good. I looked over at Switzy to see he had the most surprised look on his face as he looked downrange. I lowered my rifle and saw the mark was made dead center in the target. "You did it! I can't believe you actually did it!" he exclaimed. He then ran over and hugged me in excitement. He never smiled, he never cheered, and he never ever hugged me. "Big Brother?" I replied. "I'm so proud of you!" he said in jubilation as he embraced me.

We got up and walked back inside. I took my new rifle, and placed it beside my bed. I had never seen Big Brother so happy in my life. All I know is this: when Big Brother's happy, I'm happy.