I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other night when I noticed a #wifeoftheyear hashtag linked with a picture of my nephew’s wife.
“Hmm, what’s this?” I wondered as I clicked on the photo and saw my niece-in-law giving the thumb’s up sign with her left hand, while something dark and creepy dangled from her right hand — at least that’s what it looked like on my iPhone.
I had to take another look on the computer monitor the next day to actually see what it was, and by then I had learned more of the story.
The photo was taken in the dark, but it clearly shows Kaitlin with an expression I can only imagine is a mixture of pride and “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”
In her hand was a dead raccoon.
Yes, my niece-in-law dared to pick up roadkill.
It’s not entirely as bad as it sounds.
Well, alright, maybe it is.
When I texted her for approval to write a column about it, she replied with, “Haha, yes, that is just fine!” and filled me in on the details.
Kaitlin, who leads the youth group with her husband (my nephew Matt), at a rural church south of Ellsworth, was taking her brother-in-law (my nephew Zach), home after youth group last Sunday night when she saw a dead raccoon in the middle of the road.
She dropped Zach off and, upon driving past the dead critter a second time, she realized she could earn the admiration of her hunting-trapping-fishing enthusiast of a husband if only she’d stop and scoop it up off the road. Since trapping season began, Matt has been skinning out coons and other critters he’s captured to earn a little extra cash from the hides.
So, rather than return home with just a story about a dead raccoon, Kaitlin turned the minivan around and went back to check it out. Yep, the roadkill looked to be in good shape, all things considered.
She lined the back of her minivan with paper and proceeded to take the dead coon home to her hubby.
Oh, how proud Matt was of his wife … the same woman who won’t eat the fish he catches, the same woman who won’t eat the goose, the duck or the deer he shoots. On the other hand, she is the mother of their two beautiful children … and she wouldn’t mind having a camouflage recliner in their living room to go along with the deer head on the wall and the fox and pheasant mount in the corner.
As the saying goes, “Love is blind.” But there’s another saying I’ve heard as well: “Blinded by love.”
It’s that kind of love that makes a woman stop and pick up roadkill.