Monday, January 9, 2017

oh, possum for supper?

Is this ironic? Or a generational gap? Perhaps a change in sensibilities? Or, better still, a change in necessities?

Homer brings home supper:
 opossums. © Bales family archive
Granddad Homer Bales hunted opossum for supper. He had to, living deep in the Smoky Mountains, my ancestors had to grow their own food or hunter-gather it. The only things you went into town for were coffee, baking soda, maybe flour and sugar, but you kept bees for honey. That was your sweetening. You also grew baskets and baskets of apples because they would keep in a cool place. And who had money for anything store bought?

Your meat came from your slaughtered hog (notice pig in background of photo) or the game you found in the forest: squirrel, bear, opossum. But the latter wasn't prized. It was too fatty and chewy. 

And today, only two generations removed, instead of possum for supper, it's supper for possum. I routinely give the nature center's adopted opossum her supper. 

Olivia is lame with an injured right front leg she uses very little. Yesterday, it was broccoli, apple, sweet peppers and grapes. She loves grapes. Smack. Smack. Smack. She eats them with great relish. Olivia also gets dry cat food for a little bulk, but she always eats her fruits and vegetables first.

She's a good girl. And look at that sweet face.


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