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Zeke Dooley and the Inedible Deer

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Published on: Nov. 1, 1997

a wonder to me that people wasn't pizened to death ever whip-stitch in them days. Here's these receipts, if you can riddle 'em out. Mamma wasn't no great hand to write.

MITCH: That didn't take long, Perletta.

PERLETTA: Spoiled cannin'd kill off whole families back then. Mamma used to say, "If'n meat's put up in brine have it et by Easter time." I b'lieve that's wrote down there some'ers.

MITCH: Sounds like words to live by. All right, Zeke, I've got my recipes, now you owe me a funny story.

ZEKE: Well, like I say, I caint think of nothin funny offhand. How about if I was to tell Mitch about that deer your sister's boy killed, that you set in to butcher? He might see humor in that.

PERLETTA: What on airth would you want to relate that fer? Aint no humor to it fur's I know, Ezekial.

MITCH: Go ahead anyway. It might be educational.

ZEKE: Well now, I'll garn-tee that part. This boy wanted to kill a deer, hadn't ever been deer huntin, you know, and he wasn't no hand to hunt anyway. So I tuck him one mornin' and put him on a stand and long about daylight I heered his gun crack first thing. Well I thought I'd better go to him, no telling what he'd shot, big looby boy like that. His foot, more'n like.

PERLETTA: Now, Ezekial.

ZEKE: Well, Perletta, he was looby and is, still yit. But I went over there and he'd sure 'nuff shot a deer.

MITCH: Well good for him.

ZEKE: I aint done yit. I come up and looked over that deer and I says, "Buford, this deer looks like he has jist now put in and died of old age." They wasn't a mark on him and it was flat out the oldest deer I have ever saw in all my put togethers, which is several. It didn't have but the one antler, favored a club, and that deer was grey all over like an old monkey. Besides which it had more bob-wire scars and missin sections of hair than a cowboy, and one of its years had been shot off, missin since Hoover times I reckon. Plus it was blind in one eye, and its teeth was wore down slick as buttons, and it was poor as ary whippoorwill. I never seen a harder lookin deer,

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