Saturday, September 2, 2017

Eatin' a Rattlesnake

By Paisley Kirkpatrick
Susan B. Anthony,
the great suffrage leader, once found herself a passenger on a Wells Fargo stagecoach driven by the famous jehu, Mark Regan. She was traveling from Denver to Salt Lake City.
While in the ‘eatin’ house at the Bitter Creek way station, Susan was served the piece de resistance of that establishment by the proprietor, a Mr. Rawlins. His said delicacy was roasted whitefish. Susan showed her appreciation by consuming three generous helpings.
Susan proceeded on her merry way via Wells Fargo stage to the next ‘eatin’ house and promptly ordered white fish. She was disappointed when she was forced to settle for fried chicken. Between bites of the fowl, she praised Mr. Rawlins' feast of white fish more than once. Finally, the waitress could take no more and told Susan in disgust, “You didn’t eat no white fish ma’am."
Susan gasped and shook her head. "Surely you must be mistaken."
"No, ma'am. It was pure rattlesnake meat you ate. That’s what that no good Rawlins serves everybody.”
In high indignation Susan sent for the manager. However, Mark Regan stepped forward and gently assured Susan that she had in truth eaten rattlesnake meat. “You see, ma’am, Rawlins is supposed to keep a supply of game to feed the stage passengers, but being somewhat of a naturalist he forgets at times. Then he just kills the first thing at hand and cooks it. Today he killed some big fat rattlers down by Bitter Creek.”
As was ladylike for members of the weaker sex in that day, Susan promptly swooned. Thirty years later, however, the suffrage leader wrote to Mark Regan, “I can now smile with others over that remarkable meal.”
Taken from an old-time magazine.

14 comments:

  1. Paisley, this is so funny! Not just the account of Ms. Anthony eating rattlesnake meat, but the fact that I dreamed about snakes in my house overnight, undoubtedly because they have been talking on TV about snakes and gators in the flood waters down in Houston. To wake up and read your article is quite a coincidence. Gives me the shivers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand. I saw those gators and snakes, too, but I watch Swamp People so have gotten used to them I guess. Glad you got a chuckle out of this.

      Delete
  2. What a funny story, Paisley! It says a lot of Ms Anthony that she could laugh about the situation later. Thanks for sharing this.

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nancy. I rather like this story, too.

      Delete
  3. Hey, Paisley!!!What a story. Oh, some Texans have eaten rattlesnakes for ever. The great Texas Chili Cook-off will invariably have rattlesnake chili...etc. And in the distant past, pioneers were not adverse to eating rattlesnake meat in a stew...better that than starve. Now, me? No, siree, Bob! I will never eat such a thing but I have had one of my heroes eat rattlesnake stew on his sick bed and declared "it was as good as any steak I've ever eaten in the fanciest hotel restaurants.
    This story was just funny as could be..and I thank you !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Celia. I have never eaten rattlesnake, but growing up in California I saw plenty of them.

      Delete
  4. Paisley, this made me laugh. UGH. I don't think I could knowingly eat rattlesnake. But this is where that old saying applies: "What she don't know won't hurt her."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I enjoyed the story, too, and it is fun to see an experience in the life of someone we've heard about in history.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the chuckle about our famous Ms. Anthony! Good thing she didn't find out what she was eating until later or she might have upchucked right then and there! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cheri. They say it tastes like chicken. So do frogs legs - not sure I'd want to eat either.

      Delete
  6. When I was in high school one guy in our church youth was quite wealthy. We met at his house for a party once and he had "delicacies" for us to try. They included rattlesnake meat, honey covered locusts, and one more thing I've forgotten. If I were hungry I could eat rattlesnake meat. Otherwise, no thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting, Caroline. I'd definitely pass on the honey covered locusts. Thank you for coming by.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't know if I could have kept my composure if I discovered I had eaten 3 helpings of rattlesnake. I think I'd rather eat grass. Ugh!
    This was a very entertaining blog and an eye-opener about what travelers ate back in the old west.
    I enjoyed reading it, Paisley. And I am sorry to be late getting here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so, too, Sarah. I wonder if eating at these places was safe as far as cleanliness was concerned.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!