It had been a long day in Africa. It was our fourth day and our luggage was still lost, and we’d just spent the whole day driving and looking at crocodiles, rhinos, zebras, lions, baboons, ostriches, monkeys, and almost every other African animal you can think of. Tired and exhausted that evening, my dad, a gruff, dark-haired man, ran into an old, eccentric-looking, British man who could not find a room for the night. My dad, feeling sorry for him, offered our spare room at the Guest House. I could not believe it.
The old man was quite grateful and stammered with his British accent that his name was Arthur. He wore a large, scruffy, sweater over his wiry frame and his thinning gray hair stuck out at odd angles from the brim of his cap. He was one of the last people you’d find out in the African Bush. I promised to keep an eye on him at all times while he was in our spare guest room.
We walked with Arthur to his car, I more reluctantly, and watched as he pulled out a ratty suitcase from a pile of odorous plastic bags. Once he had grabbed his luggage we headed down the winding trail towards the guest house, the evening sounds of croaking hippos and snorting hyenas echoing in the dark. Opening the door for him we showed him where he could stay, and then headed off to our own room. However, it wasn’t long before we heard a light rap on the door. It was Arthur Boyt.
“Hello, I thought you might want to see some of my photographs I took today.” He stammered. “I have some lovely pictures of a lion and hyena fighting. They followed my jeep all the way down the road, you know.”
My dad, a much less cautious being, invited him in the room where he scrolled through the fuzzy images of birds and beasts.
When Arthur went back to his own room I made sure to lock the door to my room. I had a restless sleep that night, and in the morning was relieved to find that he had left, leaving behind only a small thank you note. Days passed and I had nearly forgotten him completely, when, on a whim, I found a wi-fi and Googled his name. Immediately I was blown away by thousands of results. There were articles from all major news sources. Slightly disbelievingly I clicked on one. I came face to face with his picture. Obviously, our British friend was famous!
I felt slightly disbelievingly as I read article after article. The man certainly was famous, he even had his own TV Show! His show was called The Man Who Eats Badgers: Tales From Bodmin Moor. Apparently he was famous for cooking roadkill- in fact he’d eaten nothing but roadkill for 50 years. He’d eaten dead weasel, badger, hedgehog, skunk, squirrel, rat, Labrador, cat, fox, mice, deer, and pigeons. His wife, needless to say, was a vegetarian. I couldn’t help laughing as it quoted how he found the food, “safe, healthy, and cheap” and that “even the green stuff was good- if not a bit bland.”
I couldn’t believe I’d met such a person. He’d had hedgehog sandwich, badger casserole, and skunk spaghetti! I erupted in a fit of mirth and couldn’t wait to tell my dad the story. Although I didn’t ever plan on trying roadkill myself, it was the most memorable experience on my whole vacation. After all, it’s not every day you meet a celebrity chef… especially one that eats roadkill!
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