Today I helped butcher a fawn with a machete.
After my escapade with the groundhog, I had kind of sworn off slaughtering things. The groundhog just smelled really bad, and it tasted bad, too. Yes, I know I said otherwise at the time, but after the fun of being a tough girl wore off, I admitted to myself (you begin to talk to yourself a lot when you live alone, I've found) that I didn't really enjoy it at all.
Well, today as I finished up a light lunch of salad and a cheap chardonney (my favorite summer beverage right now), I heard gunshot down the hill. Dane (one of the day employees at the products business) has been trying to get a deer for the last, oh, month, ever since they reached plague-like levels of destruction, munching the delicate centers out of ever single head of lettuce we had and mowing down the bean patch. And yes, we do have deer fencing--which is about the animal equivalent of the child safety lock on medication. Meaning that it's only us human beings and adults which the darn thing frustrates.
It's not hunting season, but we got a permit from the game warden and last week our hunters took out two old does.
An orphaned fawn haunted the pond all weekend with its cries, like a little child.
Fortunately, that little fawn has now found its mother in the celestial fields where, I'm sure, God provides them with unlimited lettuce and tender bean tops. She's certainly not chowing down on ours anymore.
So back to the afternoon: I finish lunch and wander down the hill toward the gunshots to see what all the fuss is about, and the guys are doing a sort of absurd masculine war dance over the poor little corpse. It was too small to justify running it over to Willis for processing that afternoon, and obviously you have to gut and drain them as quickly as possible, so Nii'Anung and I hung it by its hocks over by the backhoe and went to work with a machete and a cleaver. By "we went to work" I mean Nii'Anung was the pro with the blade and I assisted--though I did my share of yanking internal organs free of fascia and cutting the skin loose, pulling it over the fawn's thin shoulders where it caught like a child pulling off a sweater.
Along with the bottle-green flies, a little orange butterfly daintily sipped the spattered blood from an old log.
Perhaps I'm getting used to death, but it was a lot better than that disgusting groundhog. For one thing, fawns smell nice and clean and groundhogs smell like...hairy gym socks.
So now my freezer is full of the most tender, lean meat, free of charge. I think I'll make stew tonight.
[Full disclosure: this actually happened last week; I only just finished the post.]