“And the overgrown park hid a surprising amount of wild game; pigeons,squirrels; wild dogs and cats for the not too particular.”
— — — Nalo Hopkinson
— — — Brown Girl in the Ring
When I was a kid in elementary school, Show and Tell was ongoing proof of my inadequacy. I never had anything pretty enough to show. We had a nice house and a big yard, but Dad hunted on the weekends to put meat on our table. Mama packed the cleaned corpses into a squat white freezer in the basement. By the time the meat showed up on my plate — fried or roasted, swimming in grease, I didn’t know what I was eating. Coon, duck, pheasant, squirrel — anything that couldn’t outrun Dad’s hounds. But I was transfixed when I saw a pheasant before it disappeared into the freezer. I fell in love with the iridescent jade feathers, ruby face, ivory beak. It was the most beautiful jewel I’d ever seen. So of course I took a pheasant head to school for Show and Tell.