Words & photos by Poppy Smith | Illustration by Matt Ward
It was the middle of the night at the campsite and I’d been asleep for about an hour when I was woken by a rabbit inches from my face, dancing around and waving at me. And before you ask, I hadn’t sampled any of the local mushrooms, I was six months pregnant and we were en route to a wedding up north.
After a few bleary moments I realised it wasn’t alive (anymore, anyway) and that Ted, my boyfriend, was joyfully wearing the head and skin of a rabbit like a hand puppet, having picked it off the road earlier in the day and skinned it with a key ring knife about an inch long.
If Ted sees something dead on the road that doesn’t look too flat he picks it up. He’s been picking dead animals off the road and eating them for about six years, ever since that first plump, still-warm pheasant found on a country lane in the Cotswolds. So far we’ve had pheasants, rabbits, wood pigeons, squirrels and a partridge, but not the Holy Grail of road kill: a deer (more on that later).