I

Craig's mom was up from Texas to see the new house. She'd heard about the pagan guy that lived with her son, but you could tell that, being a good Episcopalian woman, she was working hard to reserve judgment.

One afternoon, while I was off at work, the doorbell rings. Naturally, she says: "I'll get it."

She opens the door. The man standing there is holding the dripping, severed head of a deer.

"Hi," he says, "Is Steve at home?"

 II

 

A few weeks previously, I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I was looking for a deer skull.

 

"Oh, I can get you one, if you don't mind dealing with the whole head," he said. Turns out that he lived near a butcher who processed venison for hunters. "They usually just throw them away."

 

III

 

Craig's mom comes back into the kitchen looking, he said, a little pale, but not missing a beat.

 

"I think you'd better take this one," she says.