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I’ve always prided myself on trying anything once. That doesn’t mean I throw all caution to the wind and do things like swim with alligators, but generally I’m game for giving something a first shot. This especially goes for food unless its worms, bugs, and slugs. That’s where I draw the line. Over the years I’ve made my way through the lines of many wild game dinners. I’ve eaten everything from turtle to buffalo. I’ve also tasted my share of seafood. I love crab legs but raw oysters are not my thing. Then there’s the common pig. If you live in the south, you’ve heard that, when it comes to a pig, you can eat everything but the squeal. If you can’t fry it, then pickle it, and somebody will eat it. I’d just like to have been with the first person who cut a pig’s ear off and said, “I wonder what that tastes like?” The good thing about all of this, is nothing is going to waste, and all parts are deemed important. As I sit in my chair, at my computer, I look at the wall in front of me. There, in a frame, is a turkey feather. Not the turkey but a feather of the turkey. And not one of the long, beautiful tail feathers, but one of the shorter, less attractive ones. What makes this feather of value is that someone has painted a beautiful picture of a gobbler in full strut, right in the middle of it. They have made the seemingly unimportant, important, and the worthless, of value. They have taken the lesser part of the turkey and turned it into one that’s desirable.
Sometimes we think our contribution to mankind is of no value. We think because our worth or beauty is not seen immediately, it must not be very important. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Nothing God has created is meant to go to waste. He has given all of us worth. He has deemed all of us important. Some in life may be considered part of the plumage. They may, seemingly, be more beautiful and noticeable than others. But tell me, what would that old tom do if he had all his long, beautiful tail feathers and was bald everywhere else? Those twenty-some feathers may look good to us, but on a cold rainy day, I’m sure he would rather have those hundreds of little ones that keep him warm and dry.
■ Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations.