Promises, Promises

I’m not sure what to do. Every time I open the freezer half of the side-by-side, my eyes can’t avoid the dozen little frozen squirrel corpses.

Fish corpses don’t bother me. I love my sushi southern fried. Or my flounder stuffed with shrimp and crab meat, then baked to a fine flake with a lemon drizzle.  Crabs? Shrimp? Boil them and stand back. They were created to go with those little red potatoes.

Pork chops? Endless ways to prepare them. Steak? I am a carnivore. “Here Mr. Moo Moo. You just ignore that little ole bottle of 57 Sauce in my hand.” Gator is downright tasty, if a little tough once you let it go cold. Moose is good, even if the meat is strangely black. I like deer, whether steak, roast or sausage. Bunny in brown gravy. Yum.

Crawfish are not bass bait–as I grew up initially believing, being from Michigan and all–but a spicy, lip-smacking, head-sucking, tail-pinching portion of a heavenly bayou menu! Oysters? Fry ’em up, or half-shell them on a bed of ice, hand me a bottle of Tobasco with that cute little fork, and don’t accidentally get any digits between me and the platter.

But eat a squirrel? Never. I just can’t get past the rodent thing.

The problem I face now, along with the dead squirrels, is all my own doing. I forgot that my grandkids are old enough to meet their half of my rashly made promises. You know the type of promise whereof I speak. Innocent ones. Like the grandson sitting on the dock swinging his feet while casting a speckled trout rig with amazing accuracy for a five-year-old, procuring the promise from me that if he catches a Marlin or a whale today, why of course I’ll have that sucker professionally mounted!

Or if the one particular granddaughter (I swear I love this child with all my heart!) gets and A in Science, I’ll do High Tea with her in New York City!

Well, I’m trapped. To say hoist by my own petard is extremely apropos, considering weaponry was involved. I promised something and forgot to factor in the determination of the twelve-year-old male. One who is growing a mustache that I can’t convince him to shave.

Squirrels are cute. In a park. Not in my yard. They’ve chewed holes requiring full sections of fascia board at the roof line to be replaced. Have eaten $600 sections of wiring from the outside unit of my air conditioning system. In a single day they’ve even built nests of dried leaves, pieces of fluff and cloth in the fan motors (literally named ‘squirrel cages’, I kid you not!) in my vehicles that resulted in much smoke and near fires under the dash. I swear I have one dog that needs therapy from being taunted from puppyhood. He pushes his head under the couch when the television commercial with squirrels doing fist bumps after they crash that station wagon on the country road airs.

Results? Can’t stand squirrels. Nope. Can’t like ’em. To me they’re proof that attire sways opinion, and the true nastiness of an  individual can be camouflaged with the wearing of fancy clothes. Strip a squirrel of that fluffy tail and what do you have? Tree rat.

Still, I felt justified in giving the grandson permission to kill every squirrel he could, even if we have the firm rule around here you can’t kill something if you don’t intend to eat it. I could get away with it because I promised I’d make squirrel stew for my grandson only if . . . if . . . you all see and understand that qualifier, a very big, foolishly confident IF on my part . . . he  kills a dozen squirrels. I will make a stew with no fewer. I also forgot I’ve been teaching him to shoot. My oldest boy went Scout/Sniper in the Corps, and I taught him to shoot. His best friend hung around here about that time, and ended up an Army Ranger. Color me stupid.

I didn’t get uncomfortable until he managed to acquire nine of them, two or three at a time, cleaning them and putting them in freezer bags.  I just kind of gingerly pushed them to the side every time I needed to retrieve something from the freezer. He had to go home, and I thought he’d forgotten all about it. Picked him up the other day and he immediately started harping on squirrel stew. I phoo-phooed it, saying he only had nine. He popped back with, “Nuh-unh. I have eleven! I only need one more! And I brought the twelve gauge I got for Christmas with me this time, Mawmaw!”

Imagine my face. We’re riding down the highway and I teasingly scoffed at his ability to add properly. He promptly yanks the zipper on his overnight duffle, scrabbles around inside, and comes out with two frozen squirrel corpses in a Ziploc bag. Now, he didn’t pack pajamas, but those squirrels managed to make the trip! Had to wash everything else in there because the plastic had started to sweat condensation beads. And the kid lives in a subdivision. Do you honestly think I’m going to ask how he managed to get them? Nope. Don’t wanna know.

He got the last one this morning at the edge of the woods by the pond. A single clean shot. Dressed it and put it in the freezer. I need to go buy  extra carrots and some fresh celery. I owe it to him to come through on my promises.

What have I learned? To consider the things I promise much more carefully. Promises come with a price.

I may not eat it, but it looks like tomorrow I’m cooking tree rat , um, I mean squirrel stew.


5 Responses

  1. LAMO!!! That’s priceless!! We had the same rule at our house when we lived deeper in the country. My brother was an avid crow killer, er hunter. I distinctly remember him being told anything he killed he had to cook. So came the day he killed 3 squirrels. He made a nice little spit to roast them, all eager to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Then his dog came by and stole the squirrels. I think he got off easy, he wasn’t as happy.

    There are a few things in this world that just shouldn’t be eaten, in my opinion. Squirrels, raccoons, and nutria rats (yes NUTRIA RATS!). I don’t care if they’re abundant. It’s a bloody rat!

    You’re a good maw-maw to follow through on the promises though. Let’s hope the next one isn’t “If you can kill five raccoons, I’ll make a raccoon gumbo.” lol

    • Typically I’m not squeamish, but even the idea of preparing this is getting to me. They’re thawing in the sink right now, and I swear every naked of them are poking all four little pink, pawless legs in the air just to torment me! And I’m not sure if cutting them up will make it better or worse! gotta laugh. If I don’t, I’ll gag!

  2. OH THIS is priceless. I can just see the horror on your face. YIPES! Now, I have to confess, as a kid, I ate some squirrel. My uncles hunted it and my aunts fried them and we all ingested them AND lived to tell the tale- guess what? They taste like CHICKEN! Shocking, I know! LOL!

    • lol Snort! lol Have to confess I ate nutria once. By mistake. Was lied to and told it was barbequed rabbit. The avid attention to my initial bites, then my remark about it being large for rabbit followed by hysterical laughter let me know something was up. They finally ‘fessed up. And it really wasn’t bad until I knew. It IS purely psychological with me!

  3. My brother (of the roast squirrel fame) has been trying to get me to eat nutria for years. He apparently had some nutria sausage and thought it was great. Ugh…seriously. Nutria RAT sausage…gah!!!

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