Stephenson Tales

Raccoon for Supper
Then to the Beach on Christmas

When Robin and Don lived on Treasure Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida, Lucy Chase, Toni, Robbie and I took a fold-down travel trailer that I had bought from Orlando. It was called a "Florida Camper" and had a minimum of everything. Its pop-up top, simply a canvas tent, was little protection from winds and blowing rain. Robin was working as a teacher and Don worked in the control room of a local network affiliate TV station. We drove him to work early one morning and as we turned in to the studio driveway I saw a medium-sized raccoon that had, apparently, just been struck and killed by a car. The blood on the pavement and under the head of the animal was still wet and glistening red in the early morning sunshine. I pulled up next to it and put it on some newspapers at my feet.

When we got back to Treasure Lane I skinned, eviscerated and washed it and put salt all over it inside and out. I stuffed it with celery, carrots, cubed potato bits, chopped onion, and peppercorns and popped it into a 320 degree oven where it lay quietly until supper time. I believe that I was the only one of the six of us who really savored that wild meat - but they all gamefully sampled my road-kill. The most generous evaluation was that "it was different." Being large enough for a couple of days, my memory tells me that I was the only one who partook of this gamey main course after that first day. So we did not really lose anything when I told Robin that she could go ahead and throw out the rest. I really wish it had been a 'possum, than which no meat is more succulent. Maybe next time.

While we were there, Toni and Robbie wanted desperately to go swimming in the ocean on Christmas Day so they could go back north and boast about it. There was a trailer campground that Robin knew about. It had access to a sandy ocean beach and, because of the time of year, would not be crowded. So we went. It was a gray, chilly, windy day with a foreboding drop of atmospheric pressure. They went in anyway, but wisely stayed in the brine just long enough to say they had done it!

Composed 13 November 2008; Transcribed by Lucky

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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