If the title of this post already has your stomach turning, stop reading. Or if you love animals more than eating them. Or if you don't feel like looking at a dead animal today. Just stop reading now and come back tomorrow. I'll completely understand.
But for those of you who truly want to experience what it's like to live in a little town in the middle of the Midwest, read on. The knowledge you're about to gain, very few have been brave enough to put into writing.
But before I start . . .
(see, I'm actually stalling because I figure that for those who really don't want to see the animal, by the time I get done with my introduction, the first picture will be low enough on this post that they won't have to see it if they don't want to. I'm really trying to be considerate here. However, no one was considerate when they asked me to come take pictures of the bloody animal.) . . . before I start I want to make something very clear. My little Redneck Reality series is in NO WAY intended to be making fun of the people for whom this IS reality. In fact, it's just the opposite. This is my life. Or at least this was my life. And now it is my life, again.
The only difference is this time around, I'm beginning to understand that the small town way of life is very foreign to people in the city. Having spent over 9 years away from it, myself, I'm sometimes amazed at how foreign this country culture feels to me, too. And yet, other times the Redneck way of life just feels so good, and wholesome and right. So this is Redneck Reality. My Redneck Reality. I hope it makes the rest of the Rednecks proud.
Here goes . . .
Growing up in a family that loves to hunt & fish is quite an education. But really that's another post for another time. Because this isn't about the thrill of the hunt or about how big the bass was. Those things take place in families all across America. This true story is about what you do with the dead animal once it's dead. 'Round here, it goes like this:
Brother B and Brother K come in from the hunt clearly stoked about the recent kill. Smiles on faces, video tape to show just exactly how the animal went down. Pats on backs and congrats are given all around. Then someone pops the question, 'Where is the turkey?'. (And by 'turkey', I really mean turkey. This is turkey hunting season in IL. I know! I would have thought that happened around Thanksgiving, too! And we're both right. Come to find out, there's 2 turkey hunting seasons in IL.)
'In back', replies Brother B. Now, if you live in the city you might think he means in the bed of his truck around the back of the house. No. He means on the back deck. 3 feet from the back door. We gotta have this thing in prime view. Here he is:
No more gobble left in this guy. But isn't he pretty? He's got a rainbow colored neck. When I mention this, Brother B informs me it's only that color during the mating season.
So what do you do with the turkey on your deck in the small town of 3000 people? Take it out in the country to de-feather it? Haul it to the local butcher to cut it up and wrap it in little white packages?
Nope. First you gotta take some pictures. This is where having a sister who loves to take pictures comes in real handy.
Except, Brother B was really just interested in having a couple shots taken, but I wanted to make sure I got the angles right, and of course My light in the right place, and then I thought we should stage the turkey a little.
I set this one up to make it look like the turkey was running. (Makes you just want to shout, "Get back here, turkey!" doesn't it?)
And this one looks like Brother B is wringing it's neck.
I told you, this is MY life. If there's anyone to make fun of, it's me. Brother B just wanted a quick little snapshot to show to his other super manly brothers and friends.
So a while after our little photo shoot, Brother B and Brother K decide they really must do something with the turkey. And discussion ensues about how to de-feather the thing. My 100 year old Grandmother is highly recommending dunking it in boiling water first before you pluck it because the feathers come out much easier. Brother B thinks boiling water is too much work. Hmmmm . . .
So instead they enlist the children to help!
Oh, what fun it is to pluck a turkey in the back yard! Everyone gets in on the action.
Some come off easily, others you gotta yank real hard.
You go, Girl!
Now, what I love about this whole scene is my daughter's turkey plucking attire.
The rest of the crew is in camo or warm clothing, but not Claire. Nope. The girl is all about princesses and dancing and wearing pink. And in her paradigm, a girl can do all that and pluck a turkey without changing clothes. Who am I to take that away from her?! You go, Claire! Teach them boys how to pluck a turkey and look good doing it!
Now I don't have pictures for the rest because I had to go in and tend to the baby, so you'll just have to take my word for it. But after most of the feathers were gone, the Brothers asked me to bring them a lighter and some needle-nosed pliers. I have no idea what they were trying to do, but evidently the lighter wouldn't stay lit outdoors, so they moved the whole operation into the house. This time they spread a garbage bag on the floor of the basement to do their dirty work. But don't worry, when it came time to clean out the blood and dig the little pieces of shot out of the turkey, Brother B didn't do that in the basement.
He did it in the kitchen sink.
Betcha can't wait till deer season! :)