When my three daughters invited me to eat crawdads with them, I was thrilled — nothing boosts my ego more than being seen in public with my pulchritudinous progeny. After devouring a huge pile of the succulent crustaceans, we bid good evening to each other, and I strolled homeward, reflecting on how blessed I was to be loved by those girls.
I also thought about the first time I ate crawdads. My boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird invited me to join him for an afternoon of fishing at a creek near my father’s Mississippi Delta farm. As we walked down a railroad track toward the stream, I was carrying a can of night crawlers, dug from his compost heap, and he was toting a black pot, a few bricks, a box of salt, and several bags of spices.
“What’s that stuff for?” I asked.
“Crawdads,” the old black man replied.
Butt - Fishing - Pole - Bank - Dewberries
After baiting up and jamming the butt of my fishing pole in the bank, I gathered dewberries from the briar bushes behind us. My curiosity soared when Jaybird filled the pot with water from the stream and poured in the salt. He explained that before we could eat crawdads, they had to be purged in salty water.
Suddenly he shouted, “Looky yonder — yo’ cork done gone clean...
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