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Smoke School Stories

Road Kill Possums

yetta nather Uncle George Smoke School stories

I grew up hunting deer on Castor Creek down here in Caldwell Parish in the swamp in North Louisiana. I remember one year back when I was 12 years old, back in 1960 or so, when we had a drought and a bad deer harvest. To make it simple we did not have any camp meet. The camp survived on road kill possums. We did not eat possums because they tasted good, we ate them for breakfast, dinner, and supper for 2 weeks because that is all we had- possums, turnip greens, and cornbread. Whenever my momma would serve up these road kill possums, I used to think of George Jones and I used to pray for Possums. I used to pray that some day the drought would end and we could get more deer and stop eating road kill possums. I used to pray that someday, I could get an education and get enough money never to eat road kill possums again.

That was over 50 years ago and to this very day, I have never stopped again to pick up a road kill possum. When I see one laying dead in the road, I take care not to let my tires go over the body. If you are driving down one of these old country roads and you see Big Red, the Dodge Ram, headed your way, then you better take the ditch, because I am not hitting that road kill possum.


Yesterday on a swamp gator tour down there in Baton Rouge, I learned that there is another reason to avoid running over road kill possums. Possums are marsupials like kangaroos.  To all of you uneducated people like myself that fluked out of college after nine years shot to hell, a marsupial totes their babies in a pouch. Who would a thunk it? The tour guide says he stops to examine all road kill possums and discovered that one out of three has babies in the pouches. They nurse the baby possums in bottles and maybe eats them, who knows.

Now brother let me tell you what. On that tour on that swamp boat down there in those cypress trees on Bayou Manshack, I done seen me one of them possums up close. I done held it in my hands and petted it like a cat. My daddy used to say, that he could never eat anything that had a name. My lil' boy Aaron said possums are so Cute.

Well from now on, if you see my truck out in the woods- stay back. If I see a road kill possum, I am going to hit the brakes and rescue those little baby possums. I think they will make a good pet and I will name them Roscoe and Bosco. I will pet them everyday and feed them peanuts, popcorn, and cracker jacks.  The doctor says that ought to bring my blood pressure down, petting possums. He said that I also should stop drinking Jack Daniels. Well, I realized there a lot more old drunks that they are old doctors.

I don't have to tell you about road kill skunks.  There's a dead skunk in the middle of the road and it stinks to high heaven. I ain't never ate a dead pole cat, nor will I ever. I did have a pet skunk one time back in the road kill possum days. The skunk's name was Margeaux and she was a real stinker. Margeaux reminded my of my second wife who was a midget. She jumped out of a cupcake at a party. She only had one leg. She had a wooden leg. We danced one time and I twirled her around the wrong way and she got taller.

My momma shot a big black squirrel one day. When me and daddy got there after we heard the shots, we hit the ditch, because that  squirrel had a long white stripe running down it's back. That ain't no lie, never will forget that.

On this alligator bayou tour down there in Baton Rouge, we seen about 100 big gators and about 200 baby ones. I seen one gator that was blind in both eyes because some fisherman hit it in the head with a boat paddle. I seen one gator that had its eye bit out and another gator. I seen another gator that had it's tail bit off by another gator. I done seen me several gators that had nubs for hands, legs, and feet. I learned that those gators are territorial and they eat other males that get close to their girlfriends. I learned that the Bible says do not covet another gators girlfriend- never. I think it is down there in First Parenthesis or something in red letters.

I also noticed that the tour guide had a nub for a finger or two. I figured it was from the wild gators that we met in the swamp. They would hear the boat coming and start swimming up fast. The guide would hang over the rail on the boat and put a raw chicken leg drumstick in the gators mouth. One time the guide was hanging upside down on the rail of the boat right out in front of me. He was sticking his toenails in the rail to hold on for dear life. I just reached out there and grabbed the guide by the foot and held on for dear life. Seems like the guide should by now know to wear shoes out there in the Louisiana bayou. I seen some cottonmouths with sharp pointed teeth and hissing tongues. Some of those gators were like 16 foot long and they jumped up to the rail on the boat. They can jump 6 foot high easily and they can swim over 35 miles an hour. I figured that the giant gator could easily swallow the guide and decide he was not full yet and go after a fat ole man- like me.


I guess what scared crap out of me, was the fact that when the gator went down in the mud in the bayou water, it completely disappeared right there before my very own eyeballs. There have been many a times while fishing in that same bayou in various states of my life, that I have jumped out of the boat and swam in those very same muddy bayou waters. It also reminded me of when I fished there drinking a cold Jax Beer and sort of leaned out of the boat to take a leak. Just think the hidden gator could have jumped up out of the mud and I could have been left with a nub. Now I don't care who you are, that is scary right there. Sorry about that, I shouldn't a said that. I apologize, all those starving pigmy's down thee in New Guinea.


Turns out that the tour guide did not get the nub form the gators at all. He got the nub from one of those giant alligator snapping turtles that are native along the bayous and lakes along the gulf shores. These things are massive. They have these massive jaws and my momma used to say that if a turtle bit you that it would not let go until it thunders. Can you imagine that? I saw with my own eyeballs the guide put his fingers inside the turtles mouth and prize it open to show us a built-in worm that the turtle uses to catch fish. Now who would a thunk it? Now who would a thunk it if you got one finger bit off by a turtle, why in the heck would you put another finger inside the turtles mouth. 

Well that's my story and I am sticking to it. You should take this gator tour. It is by far the best tour of anything that I have ever seen. Alligator Bayou Tours.  You ought to take a peak at this web page for the swamp tour. Some far out pictures there. If you like the story you should see my other stories.

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