Zeke Dooley and the Inedible Deer

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Published on: Nov. 1, 1997

deer meat did come up.

MITCH: It won't be long til November, Zeke.

ZEKE: Reckon why they wait so long to let a man kill a deer nowadays? Daddy allus claimed second frost was the time to hang one.

MITCH: They're still pretty careful about the deer crop, Zeke, but if you want to take up archery, they'll let you hunt in October.

ZEKE: Shoot, if I was young enough to use one of them bow n'arrs I could jist run one down and be did with Öy@'@Üwold and I cr~?-too much like a pulley wheel to get that close to ary deer.

PERLETTA: Ninety-two Ezekial. You was borned the year the new heatin' stove fell out of the wagon and flat mashed my great Uncle Ezry, may his soul rest easy.

ZEKE: Whatever, woman. You kin trust Perletta to keep track of the low p'ints. What I'm'a sayin' is ain't no deer gonna stand there and let somebody squeakin' like a sawmill walk up on him.

MITCH: Okay, Zeke, sit and use a gun. Out here where you live you could probably shoot one off your porch.

ZEKE: Not in deer season you couldn't. First gun that cracks in this neighborhood them things holes-up like groundhogs. They git back in brush so thick you couldn't cock a pistol and lay there 'til the shootin' stops.

PERLETTA: Well you'ns set there and caucus, and I'll see if I caint skeer up some of them venison receipts Mamma wrote out. I believe I put 'em in the Bible, next to the funeral notices of them that's passed on.

MITCH: Now don't go to a lot of trouble, Perletta. Anything you find will do. I'm just curious about how the old timers did things.

ZEKE: Now Perletta's too young to remember, but her mamma knowed. Back when I was comin' up, we canned most of our meat in bear grease when we had it. You couldn't confidence Missouri weather no more back then than you kin now, fur's keepin' meat in winter goes.

MITCH: How'd you do that?

ZEKE: 'Bout like you can anything, cook it some and seal it up right hot. Mamma surrounded it with grease in the jar, ye see, and hit'd keep pretty good in the spring house or the root cellar. Nothin set around long at our place, with a big family using on it.


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