Special to the Reporter

Those who know me well at all know that I have, on occasion — okay, on MANY occasions — been known to cook up some (at least, to most folks) less-than-common foods: armadillo, coon, rattlesnake and bobcat, to name a few. And many have heard me say that whether the critter dies from a bullet, tire or bumper matters little to me. It’s meat. Once prepared, it’s not really possible to tell, nor does it really matter, how its life ended.

Several years ago while serving as youth minister in a church out in Haskell near Abilene, we had taken our youth group out to Lake Stamford for some skiing, tubing, swimming and grilled hamburgers. It was a great summer day and our group was having a great time.

Around noon-time some of the dads of our students fired up the large grill and cooked up the burgers. The kids came to the tables and devoured pretty much everything that was laid out on ‘em. After a short break in the action, they were back in the boats and/or the water.

It was about that time that another one of the dads showed up on the scene to see how things were going. He was driving his pick-up. I was standing by the truck visiting with him when a decal on one of the side windows caught my eye. It had a picture of a bobwhite quail in the middle and stated around the perimeter “Texas Association of Bird Hunters.” I was an avid quail hunter at that time and told Charles, “Boy, I really like that sticker!”

He pointed forward and said, “Go around there and look up in the front of my truck.” I did.

He had nailed a quail hen with his truck and she was still stuck in the grill.

“How long has she been there?” I asked.

“Less than an hour,” he said.

I reached in and pulled her out. In a matter of seconds I had popped that beautiful white meat breast out, salt and peppered it and tossed it on the barbecue grill, which was still plenty hot from cookin’ those burgers. A few minutes later I was enjoying that tasty treat.

Often when I share this story, my listeners express various degrees of shock and disbelief. It is then that I usually tell them that I’ve been in restaurants where I’ve paid for something called a “twice-baked potato.” There, at Stamford Lake, I had myself a FREE “twice-grilled quail.”

Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!

Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He plays the role of "Grandpa" in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer.