The first time my husband took me out to the ranch as a teenager, I remember being completely amazed at the size of ‘seashells’ I found on the creek bank. I’d never seen anything like them. They were pearly and smooth and larger than any I’d ever seen before. My husband told me they were freshwater mussels and that they were a delicacy among the racoon population.
I spent much of my time collecting the empty shells and looking for the living bivalves. Hoping with all the hope a teenager could muster that I would find one with a big ‘ol pearl inside. In fact, that’s the only reason I agreed to marry my husband.
According to my highly scientific mathematical figures, the odds of me finding a pearl inside one the millions of freshwater mussels in the lifetime I had left were pretty good.
But I never found any pearls. Nor did I find any living bivalves.
Well, I didn’t actually find the living mussel…. one of my little pee-huhs did.
(Pee-huh: Pronounced pee-huh. A completely made up word used to affectionately refer to a young, ornery child. Originates from my paternal side of the family.)
Too bad it didn’t have a pearl inside.