Unsung Beauties of Mississippi

Mississippi is often underappreciated by the media and history. We have many excellent attributes that should be boasted more, including our variety of exciting wildlife. Here is just a sampling for your enjoyment.

Note: This is not officially sanctioned by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, but I will be submitting it to become a pamphlet available at all rest stops along the interstate.

Mosquitoes are the first things anyone coming to/driving through Mississippi is acquainted with. We have the largest, most vicious ones in the world. Some are as big as birds, and they will eat you alive.

White-tail deer are the official animal of Mississippi. Which basically just means we’re overrun with them. Which is also why we have an abundant amount of volunteers doing their duty to keep the population under control, while also appeasing their palates. The deer aren’t really dangerous, unless they freeze in your headlights.

Mockingbirds are the official bird of Mississippi. Harper Lee once said that “they don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.” I say they do nothing but make noise and harass the neighborhood cats. And while that may be bad for the cats, it is quite entertaining to watch a bird dive-bomb a cat, then swoop out of reach of its claws — and repeat.

Catfish are tasty when they’re dead, if they’re still alive, these things will bite you. Somewhere along the way, someone figured out that if you let them bite you, it’s an efficient way to catch them — just pull them right out of the water. But you couldn’t pay me enough to voluntarily have my arm bitten by one of these mud monsters.

Raccoons sure are cute little buggers, they look so soft and fluffy…but don’t be fooled – they will strew your garbage all over your front yard and laugh at you from the bushes as you try to clean it all up.

Possums (also known as opossum, but our breed in Mississippi unanimously agreed to drop the “o”) are terrifying just to look at. I was once confronted with one as I was trying to enter my garage and he was trying to exit. Staring into those beady little red eyes was like staring into Hell itself. I hid in my car until he went away.

Armadillos must be the dumbest animals ever. I actually don’t know what a live armadillo looks like, because I’ve only ever seen them squashed in the middle of the road. They seriously need to adapt and make that shell tough enough to withstand being squashed by a soccer mom in a Hummer.

Cottonmouths: this is a venomous snake you do not want to meet. Its name comes from the white lining of its mouth, which makes him look like he;s stuffed with cotton boll. They tend to live in or near water, so if you’re out for a skinny dip in the woods and come up on one, just make sure you grab your britches when you’re running away screaming like a little girl.

As you can see, this ain’t any Snow White forest — these animals will mess you up. So, if you are new to Mississippi, and you’re not used to interacting with nature, it might be best to just not leave your house.

On a more personal note, I sincerely hope that a 3rd grader finds this through a search engine and plagiarizes it for a school report.

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