Travels with George in Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings

By Paul Ruffin | Go to book overview

The Bowhunter Asks for My Bladder

It was early January a few years ago out in West Texas, near Junction, just hours before whitetail season expired, and on a scaffold beside one of the cabins at Bob Winship’s Rock Pile Ranch I had hanging a medium-size Sika buck I’d brought down with my rifle that morning; on the scaffold beside my Sika was a whitetail doe being skinned by a bowhunter.

I had just entered the serious phase of dressing the still-steaming carcass (they call it dressing, but what you’re really doing is undressing), stripping out all the organs he wouldn’t need anymore, when my bowhunter neighbor leaned over with his knife pointed across my shoulder at the Sika’s entrails. I was a little uneasy.

“What’re you gon’ do with that bladder?”

I stopped hacking. I didn’t know. Hadn’t thought about it. What can you do with a deer bladder? You can’t eat it, can you? I don’t know that the most exotic restaurant in the world serves deer bladder. I can just hear myself saying to some prissy waiter poised with a delicate gold pen, “Hey, me’n the little lady here’ve decided on your Big Buck Bladder Platter, baked potato with cheese and chives, house dressin’ on the salad.”

I guess you do the same thing with it that you do with a hog’s bladder or a turkey’s or a snake’s, if they’ve got one: you throw it away. Long gone are the days when some great unwritten code required you to keep and put to use every part of a slaughtered animal. As neighbor Bob’s neighbor, Mr. Pate, says, “Buzzards got to eat too.” What was I going to do, make a water jug out of it the way the Plains Indians did out of buffalo bladders? Not a chance, not when I had a stainless-steel army canteen. And even if I summoned the nerve to tie off the bladder and put my lips to it and blow it full of air, my kids sure wouldn’t play with it. They’d want something from Walmart.

So I just told him: “Nothing.”

“Can I have it?”

It was the same tone of quiet urgency somebody across the table would use asking for the piece of prime steak you’ve been eating the less savory meat

-117-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Travels with George in Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Things Literary, More or Less 1
  • Travels with George in Search of Ben Hur 3
  • The Mosquito 15
  • The Lady with the Quick Simile 19
  • Workshopping a Cowboy Poem 22
  • Was Emily Mad or Merely Angry? 28
  • On the Death of Edgar Allan Poe 31
  • Making Preparations for the Tour 34
  • The Girl in the Clean, Well-Lighted Place 37
  • Explaining a Poem to a Student 40
  • Some Rare and Unusual Books 43
  • Tales from Kentucky Lawyers 45
  • The Boy Who Spoke in Hymns 48
  • Making a Dam in Segovia 51
  • Just Thinking about Shit 54
  • To San Juan and Back 60
  • On Likker and Guns 81
  • Drinking 83
  • Rats! 100
  • The Bowhunter Asks for My Bladder 117
  • The Day the Sharpshooter Killed Something He Didn’t Intend to 120
  • Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, off to the Gun Show We Go … 128
  • From "Growing Up in Mississippi Poor and White but Not Quite Trash" (an as-Yet-Unpublished Memoir) 135
  • Trains 137
  • Learning about Sex 143
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 172

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.