The redneck and the roadkill
By Holly Martin
Do you ever catch yourself doing something and pause and think, “Wait. Do city folk do this?”
Do you suddenly get this vision of what people with a little more refinement might think? And then you shrug and continue on, as any good redneck would do? Jeff Foxworthy is a millionaire, people. I guarantee I’m not the only one.
This story starts off like many good ag family stories do...
“We were driving home from the 4-H meeting one night... “
And it’s true. We were.
The evening had not started off well. Just about the time we were ready to leave for the meeting, we discovered a cow with a problem. We needed to get her in sooner instead of later. After a surprisingly calm drive to the corral, we decided to split forces. My husband and oldest son would go to the vet, and our youngest would come with me to 4-H. We were late, but hey, how many 4-H meetings occur without a late arrival or absence because of some sort of an impending farm crisis?
By the time the meeting was over, it was late and dark. We took the backroads home.
It has rained in Ford County. Did you know when it rains you have to mow more often? Me neither. And apparently the county folks are having a little trouble keeping up with mowing the road ditches and understandably so. There were some pretty tall weeds and grass in the ditches of that river road.
I was driving along, chatting to my son about all that needed done before the fair, when out of the corner of my left eye I see a big blob dart out of the weeds, right into my driver’s side front tire. Ka-thunk. I didn’t even have time to brake before I hit—it. I had no idea what the “it” was, but I knew it was bigger than a jackrabbit and smaller than a deer. My thoughts immediately raced to: “I ran over someone’s farm dog.” And I started panicking as a stopped. “I can’t just drive on. What if it’s someone’s dog?” I was dreading the stop I was going to have to make to tell a neighbor the bad news.
We dug around in the glove box for the flashlight. Score! And the batteries were even good!
As we walked up to the lump in road and shined the light on it, my son and I yelled, “It’s a bobcat!” at the same time.
I don’t think I can adequately describe the excitement of an 8-year-old farm boy who has just witnessed his mother run over a bobcat. This is where redneck is born. He started yelling, “We have to call Dad! Give me your phone!”
It could have ended there. It could have been a call to his dad and brother and a great story. But, no. From the other end of the line, “Wait there. We need to see it.” Not, we “want” to see it. We “need” to see it.
Fifteen minutes later is where the thought came. I’m standing in the road at 9:30 p.m. watching my husband lift up the bobcat so I can take a picture. The pause. The thought that normal people probably don’t take a picture of roadkill to text to friends and family. The shrug. It’s a fact. I’m a redneck.
And yes, I have since heard how valuable bobcat pelts are.
And no, we did not save it.
I have to draw the line somewhere. Apparently that line is somewhere between snapping photos of roadkill and throwing the roadkill in the back of the truck to haul home. It’s a fine line, folks.
Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171, ext. 1806, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.