if it smells like death, it's probably dead

i hesitate to share this story because somethings are better left unsaid.  it will certainly shatter any idyllic notions you may have of country life, so if you're looking for a sweet story, stop right now.  what follows is not for you.  read this post instead.  don't continue reading,  and you definitely shouldn't read this old story, either. consider yourself warned.

anyway, winter lasted forever this year.  the snow barely melted in time for my birthday (march 19), and a few short days before that i was still precariously hiking an infant car seat over ice and through elbow-high snow drifts that lingered imposingly between our house and the car.

even after the snow melted, it stayed chilly for a while, but by the end of april, things were finally beginning to warm.

that's when it started to stink.

we'd had bunnies living under our deck all winter, and i figured one must have died right under the deck.  every time you opened the door to the outside, the stink would stop you dead in your tracks.  for some reason, it seemed to be getting worse instead of better.

"it smells like dead bunny!  is that what you think it is?" i asked jim.

"yeah, must be," jim maintained.

except it wasn't dead bunnies.  at some point, jim realized this and yet kept his guilty silence. 

dead bunnies.  if only it had been dead bunnies.

probably a good two weeks passed.  it was now the month of may.  i stepped out of the house to call the dog.  first i smelled it and then i saw it:  antlers poking out the top of a huge metal pot at the far corner of our yard.


the head was from a deer that jim's friend's dad had taken during archery season.  back in december.  jim had the head because he was supposed to "prepare" the skull for display.

(i know:  ew.  if only that were where our story ended.)

so jim took the head, put it in a bucket, stuck it directly next to the house, and proceeded to forget about if for FIVE MONTHS.


deer killed, head put into bucket, bucket put outside my laundry room

  13 feet of snow dump on bucket/head

snow melts, turns bucket into vat of head juice

weather warms, head decays, festering bucket mess stinks up yard, jim decides to wait it out.

sun shines, head smells even stank-nastier, jim moves buckets mess to corner of yard, dog plays, suzannah discovers, jim "handles it."  smell continues, suzannah inquires, jim reveals that "handling it" entailed dumping bucket mess in corner of yard.  suzannah makes jim dump gallons of water on mess, lingering stank-of-death subsides.  jim does whatever the heck he was supposed to do to "prepare" the head for display.

jim gives skull to friend's dad and earns $50.

it all sounds worth it to you, right?

the whole reason i thought about this today was that last night the kitchen smelled like death. jim started work on the dishes. remnants of a milky sippy cup left unpleasant odors, but that was the least of it. after the dishes were done and the trash emptied, the stink lingered. jim investigated under the sink, where he found a mouse, dead in a trap he'd set OVER A MONTH AGO. who knows how long it had been dead?

at least jim was the one who discovered it. i don't think i could have kept my dinner down.

is it too much to ask that if a person sets a mouse trap, he checks said mouse trap?

and for-the-love-of-all-things-good-and-holy, if you put a deer head in a bucket, could you NOT put it outside my laundry room and leave it there for FIVE months?

that would be great.

linked up with kristen's keepin' it real over at rage against the minivan. 
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