I was, I think, in the 4th grade. Innocently, like the innocent child I was, I came home from school. Really, that’s all I did. No one else was home, I don’t know why but I think it was a plot against me, I have a huge family. Why was I alone on that particular day? A plot.
What was I doing? Oh, right, roadkill.
So, on the day of the plot, I walked into the garage thinking to get a soda out of the fridge. No one was home and I was going to take advantage of that. I flipped on the light and a sight out of Texas Chainsaw Massacres assaulted my innocent eyes. Not that I knew what TCM was. A dead deer was hanging from the garage door stringers, upside down: gutted and bloody with a tub full of guts below swimming in even more blood. It’s back legs were mangled as though they had been stuffed into a shredder. I screamed. Twice. Then I walked over to it and looked at it. Then I looked some more. Then I got a stick and poked around in the tub. Then I poked around in the body cavity. Then I poked around in the tub some more. Then my Mom walked in and said something like “Oh, you found it. I was going to warn you about that thing.”
Turns out one of my ex brothers-in-law had hit this deer earlier in the day and killed it. He brought it back to our house to butcher. I had fun that evening watching the butchery. Fun stuff. After I got over the whole “screaming because a bloody dead thing is hanging in my garage” thing.
I was home alone one evening (is a trend starting to take shape? I think so.) when the doorbell rang. I open the door to find my neighbor Cliff standing there, covered in blood with surgical gloves on holding a lump of still bleeding flesh in his hands. He doesn’t even say hello, instead he shoves the quivering, bleeding meat in my face and asks “Does this smell okay?” The first thing I thought was that Cliff had lost his mind and was eating his family. Then, when I realized that he wasn’t insane, I asked, “What is it?” Cliff says “A deer I hit. I had to kill it, and now I’m trying to figure out if it’s okay to eat.” So, being a good neighbor I sniff the lump of quivering, still bleeding meat. It smelled good, gamey, but good.
Then Cliff says “Hey, you wanna see it?” “Totally!” So we walk over to his driveway where he had his cars parked at an angle with the lights on to shine on the deer carcass. He had a big tarpaulin spread out with bits and parts of deer all over it. He showed me everything he’d done to it, all the cuts, the legs, the guts. Cool stuff. Then he showed me the creepiest bit, the head with the antlers still attached. He said “Check this out!” and then he grabbed the antlers and moved them. There was this revolting crunching noise from the deer’s skull. It’s skull was broken from the hit. That poor animal was still looking at me with its dead eyes as Cliff gleefully ground the broken bits of skull together. Blood leaked out of it’s nose.
Both times I ate part of those deer. The venison was good, roasted and flavored with garlic, onions and herbs. So tasty.