TALES FROM THE BAYOU: A Case of Mistaken Identity





I’m one of those people who LOVED going to school. The passion for learning new things has carried with me all my life but sometimes got me into big trouble.

While I excelled in my studies (graduating second in my class), the sciences were an area where I sometimes struggled. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the concepts…I’ve just always preferred anything to do with reading and writing over any other subject.

The only science class I enjoyed was Biology. To say I LOVE animals is putting it mildly and any time there was an extra credit project offered I would jump at the chance to do them. Maybe I should have exercised a bit more caution.

One Friday morning my seventh grade teacher announced a “show & tell” extra project due the following Monday for anyone interested. Of course I was game and went home that afternoon wondering what I would bring in…never realizing Mother would give me what I thought was the perfect solution.

You have to remember when I say my family was poor, we quite literally took advantage of ANY opportunity to put food on the table. So when I walked in the door that day and saw a severed pig’s head lying on the dining room table, I was barely surprised.

Beady eyes stared back at me as I watched my mother prepare that head so she could make hog head cheese…also know as Souse in other parts of the country.

Any other child would probably have discarded the bones and thought nothing else of it. Not me. I decided that bag of bones would guarantee I would pass Biology class with flying colors. Another hour of boiling and they looked clean enough to hang in a museum. Boy, was I excited for Monday to arrive so I could wow my classmates during Show & Tell!

There were two things I didn’t plan on. One, the fact the air conditioning was out in that old school building and temperatures were averaging in the mid 80’s or higher in southern Louisiana where there is ALWAYS high humidity. Two, don’t let anyone tell you that boiling pig head bones for an hour is enough to actually kill the bacteria continuing to grow unseen inside that paper bag I stored it in for three days.

I feel badly for my sister…an unknown “accomplice” to what the principal thought was some satanic ritual when the janitor discovered the source of the horrific smell emanating from an extra locker she had been assigned. I had nowhere to put those bones until Biology class so I simply tucked them in that locker and went on about my day.

Can’t you just imagine the look on the poor janitor’s face when he opened the paper bag and saw what he thought must have been some animal sacrifice? My sister was pulled out of her class to explain and the next thing I know I’m facing a very agitated principal who is trying to decide if this was an epic failure at using common sense or if I actually needed a psychiatric evaluation!

And here all I wanted to do was share a little pig head appreciation…






HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams (Paperback)

Ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers' strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?







International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: A Case of Mistaken Identity

  • Hahahaha. I remember being told it was dog bones by someone. I knew they were not, you little weirdo. People calmed down when they found out it was not from a dog. It wasn’t always easy being unique for either of us. Now, I know I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. But back then……


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