Saturday, I took the kids down to south Arkansas for the annual Buck Fever Festival, which is held on Opening Day for modern-gun season.
There’s a parade, talent show, beauty pageant, fish fry and so on. But the kids’ favorite activity is hanging out at the family-only Saturday night bonfire.
Regular readers of this blog know that my daugther, Tootie, is an animal lover. She adores dogs, cats, horses, hamsters … anything furry, really.
Which is why I always assumed she would regard deer-hunting with disdain.
My brother-in-law arrived late to the bonfire. But he brought with him quite a prize, as far as the kids were concerned:
A huge skull and antlers that belonged to a buck that has long roamed my brother-in-law’s acreage.
It appeared, he said, that the mighty deer had succumbed to old age.
The children were fascinated. They crouched on the ground, hovering over the skull like a couple of vultures.
“His teeth are loose,” I heard Tootie whisper to the E-man. “Feel them.”
Ten minutes later, she materialized at my side, hand outstretched.
“Look, Mommy!” she crowed. “I pulled his teeth!”
About that time, I looked up and saw the E-man dangling from the deer hanger while one of his cousins used a rope-pulley to pull him up and down.
Don’t know what a deer hanger is? It’s what hunters use to hold the deer while they field-dress it. My son, apparently, had decided it was a piece of playground equipment.
When Hubs called Sunday to tell us he got a deer, I thought, Yay! Venison chili! Deer spaghetti! Deer sausage & mustard! Yum!
The children, however, began arguing over who got the antlers.
Which means I must now re-program the little darlings before they become hunters themselves. Eek.
I suppose I should find some consolation in the fact that we still have to lie to them about what they’re eating. Neither can bear the thought that they might be consuming Bambi with their pasta.