Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Cow, a pig and a lamb

It was that special time of year for Thump but the rest of the family hated it despite the full bellies it would provide later throughout the year. Each fall, it was time to slaughter a couple of animals which would be either frozen, canned or smoked for the coming winter and following year. Without this chore, there would definitely be a lack of meat on the Carson's dinner table yet there was never a time when anyone other than Thump enjoyed the fall, for this reason alone.

This was always turned into a family affair with each member helping in their own way. Molly the oldest of the children was given the charge of helping mom with the preparation of the meats, JD, the middle child was the son Thump was training to one day take over the farm. It was his responsibility, along with Thump to select which animals they were going to slaughter and actually do the deed of pulling the trigger. Thump thought that this was an honor for the boy yet JD felt like he was killing his pets; the kids had always become fond of the animals that they tended.

Terry, little Terry, had the responsibility of cleaning all of the miscellaneous "cutlery" that was used to do the butchering and a year never went by when this chore didn't make her sick to her stomach but like a good girl, she complied. All of the kids used to complain to both of their parents that they didn't want to partake in this family event but it didn't matter; after all they were children of a farmer, what did they expect. "They weren't no city kids, they had to know the importance of it!"

As each of them grew old enough to leave, they did just that in the hopes of never having to do anything but buy their food again. When momma and paw eventually died the farm was sold and now if you drive down past Thompson's Creek where the farm was at one time you can spy a sea of houses in all miscellaneous shapes, sizes and colors. The funniest part though is that all three kids now miss the lives they led on the farm. Since moving to the big city, they sometimes feel like the livestock they once owned, seemingly moving in herds and always looking over their shoulders waiting for the slaughter.


paisley said...

this was very well done... it made me think of a quote i read a while back,,,,,

"sure, i'll eat meat... if you kill it....."

Heather Kathleen said...

excellent read! and what are my cats doing with that hammer??

Lori V. (doyourealize) said...

Fantastic piece... especially for someone who looks for family-run farms from whom to purchase meats.

My Miscellaneous Scribblings are up... come visit!

tumblewords said...

I love this story - it's so accurate and thought provoking. My gdaughter isn't involved in the actual slaughter but she's fond of saying at the dinner table - This was Clyde or This was George - or This was Oreo...she babies them all, plays in the fields with them and ultimately... her dream is to be a vet.

Shari said...

Both my husband and I grew up in the suburbs, but now we are raising our family in the country. We thought that we could raise farm animals, but it was much more difficult than we had expected. When it came time to butcher the chickens, we just couldn't do it. We ended up giving them away to a neighbor - who ended up butchering them for his family.

gautami tripathy said...

This is a part of life. It saddens us but how many of us pause and think of that meat on our table?

Arty? Not me!!

redness said...

Very well done - short but told us so much! Thank YOU!