The Zombie Pheasant and Other Beasties that Just Won’t Die

With the first day of deer successfully in the bag, we were sitting around the old big screen munching on pizza and reliving the old days of hunting and, well, almost killing our quarry.

Note: I’m sorry if this is offensive to you. I know that a lot of you don’t like hunting and killing and all that stuff. It’s a part of life for me and I see it a little differently than you. I don’t mean to offend you, but I won’t apologize for my upbringing.

And that said…

Let me tell you the story about my husband, who is the absolute light of my life, and his Zombie Pheasant. Our daughter was literally a newborn and he was home due to a work injury. He was going to PT about three times a week, but the rest of that time was spent with us. After a few weeks, it was getting old and since it was fall, I encouraged him to go out hunting. I happily packed him up for a day in the woods (and a day of peace for me) and sent him on his merry way. He went to PT then headed out for the woods. I sat quietly while my little angle slept in her cradle. It was magical. It was wondrous. It was short-lived.

But that’s okay because this is a funny story.

I was talking on the phone with my cousin, who’s more like a sister, and enjoying my afternoon. Baby girl was still asleep and it was nice to chat to another female. As I was talking, my husband came home with his prey and like any other predator/caveman/primale; he displayed his ‘gifts’ to me, his mate. Yes, that’s how it is with guys. It’s animalistic, primal and oh so sexy.

Hubby had a pheasant tucked under his arm, kinda like a football, and he was doing a little dance with the thing in front of the living room window. Sort of a tango with a erotic little hip twist and were it not for the pheasant with his head lulling back and forth like a wet rag, and the fact that I had just given birth, I would have probably been into the whole gig. As it was, I found it amusing and really not much else.

And then there was this split second where recognition set in. For hubby, me, and the pheasant. My husband froze, realization settling over his face and giving him a startled ‘what the hell’ kind set to his jaw. Taking a cue from him, I paused in amazement, my jaw slack and my eyes wide. And the pheasant? Well, he came back from the dead, no more lulling his head around but holding it straight and staring at me with that same ‘what the hell’ kind of look. The pheasant was a zombie! Intent on eating brains! Later my husband would tell me that he felt the bird tense in his arms and that’s why he looked like he’d just pissed his pants. For my part, I was afraid he’d thrown his shoulder out and he’d be home recuperating longer than I’d anticipated. I have no idea what was going through the pheasant’s head. Zombie pheasants are like that; they don’t think much. Just act.

The zombie pheasant put up a fight, trying to eat my husband’s brains and he hopped around a little bit until he could get a good hold on the thing and put it down the only way you can stop a zombie pheasant. The encounter was short, but it was burned on my brain like watching a meteor shower or my first kiss. And I bring the memory out once in a while and have a good chuckle at the whole episode.

My husband says that he’s had that kind of stuff happen before. A pheasant gave him a black eye once. And my son says that a bunny kept kicking him long after he’d put the thing in his game bag and headed out for more. I guess that’s sort of how things go when you’re living off the land. Sometimes you eat what you kill and sometimes what you thought you killed turns into a zombie and tries to eat your brains!

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