Saturday, February 12, 2011


On Monday we saw the end of hog butchering (see "Bless this Hog," February 7).  Today we saw the beginning, not quite the beginning, although we heard it.  Our role was to help with the scalding, hair removal, and hoisting of the clean "hog on a pole."  I think our host expected all of us to yell "hog on a pole" when we reached that step.  He said it alone, without a cheer.  Mostly we watched, glad our roles were not reversed.
Our instructor claimed we were engaged in the olden way, the way this has been done for many years, with little change, to be distinguished from the way it's now done in factories and slaughterhouses.

As on Monday, I left the place unsettled.  Returning to our driveway was like entering a sanctuary.  I breathed a sigh of relief and felt grateful for plants.  Do they scream when they're picked or pulled?  Just yesterday, a friend promised that if you lie between rows of immature corn in quiet summertime, you could hear it grow, along with crickets crunching.  I doubt what you hear is a hum or a sigh, certainly not enough to suggest a scream when picked, although tearing off an ear makes a noise.

Why was home peaceable?  Over there, in clear view, was the turkey killing tree.  Have the wind, rain and snow, or simply time, purified the atmosphere, like exorcists?

"Nonsense," says Virginia, "the remoteness of events answers the question.  No aura, no spirits."

Will we raise a pig?  I don't know.  It could be the best way to prepare my field garden, which continues to baffle me -- not because I don't know how, but because of the time it requires.  I could invite a tractor for a visit, or a pig.  Maybe we should try the goats first.  Having made fairly quick work of the post holes for my other garden fence, which I hope to finish this next week, I may consider knocking out another 50 holes around the field garden -- and then setting up paddocks for the rest of the field.  Good exercise.

1 comment:

  1. I vote for you putting more fence posts in the field with several paddocks and I'll help you build the very large barn for many more goats.