Louis Van Vleet received a mullet special delivery last week.
Van Vleet, a well-known Apalachicola resident often seen riding his bicycle through town or driving his classic Mustang, was in his kitchen preparing tuna salad for lunch when he heard a loud noise on the tin roof of his house.
After a few moments, he heard something clattering on his porch roof. Thinking someone wanted in, he exited through the front door but found nobody in sight.
“I ran around the house but I didn’t see anybody,” Van Vleet said. “Then I noticed something on the ground by my back door steps.”
Van Vleet found a mullet, weighing about one pound, still flipping on the ground outside his kitchen. Presumably, the fish was dropped by a large bird, probably an eagle, and landed on the roof before sliding to the ground.
Van Vleet said his initial reaction was to toss the fish out of the yard, but then it occurred to him this was wasteful. He retrieved the “gift from above” and cleaned it for supper. The fish, he said, was plump, tasty and extremely fresh.
Van Vleet said he has, on other occasions, observed an eagle feeding on mullet in a sycamore tree adjacent to the home of his next-door neighbor, City Commissioner Mitchell Bartley.
While Van Vleet’s experience is unusual, it is far from unique.
Some years ago, this author barely missed colliding with a dinner plate sized flounder when exiting a business near the Port St. Joe waterfront. The late Danny Segree of Eastpoint also reported a similar experience with a large mullet in the late 1990s.
Van Vleet, a deeply religious man, asked that the following piece of Scripture accompany this story. It is from 1 Kings 17:4 in the King James Version of the Bible.
“And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”