By Neal Ritter
On Thanksgiving, while driving home from his parents’ house, Isaac passed a beautiful raccoon. As a friend once wrote in a song “It was in fine condition, except it was dead…”, Isaac decided to pick up the roadkill.
The wildlife that surrounds us is hauntingly beautiful, but rarely do we have the opportunity to see wild critters. Roadkill is a way to come up close and person with animals, felling their fur, looking at their paws, marveling at these animals we get to coexist with on earth.
Of course it is also important to be mindful of safety, using gloves to handle dead animals, watching for cars on busy roads, but I have learned so much of nature from roadkill. Sometimes about a specific animal, or learning that a species lives in our area.
Isaac brought the raccoon home, carefully skinned it, washed the fur, and tacked it out to dry. This will be a winter tanning project. Already this year he has made a beautiful bobcat fur fat, and fox fur ruff on his buckskin hooded, honoring animals’ lives that would have just decomposed on roadsides. There is treasure everywhere.