Monday, July 4, 2011

Wrapping things up

About a month ago, I got a call from Bob to say that my gun had sold, and I could come down for the money he owed me. He paid me in one hundred dollar bills. It felt funny to have that much cash in my wallet, because of the bigness of it, but also knowing it represented the end of something. I stuck it in the bank right away.

Bob told me that the new owner was a game warden, that the gun had "found a good home."

Meanwhile, the pig is still with us. I'm making pulled pork sandwiches tomorrow, and I still have enough shoulder meat for another meal of carnitas. I have sausages and liver left too. In case you're wondering, yes, we do have a freezer.

Another part of the pig has been in the freezer all this time: his pelt. When I came back home from the hunt, I had all the butchering and sausage-making to do, so I just salted and froze the pelt, with the plan that I would figure out what to do about a tanner later.

Later has arrived. Tomorrow, I am driving to a tannery in San Leandro with the frozen pelt. Most wild boar are solid black, but as you see, mine was dappled, so I want to get it tanned with the fur on.

When I wrote earlier that the pig is still with us, and then proceeded to list the meat that I still have, I was only accounting for one aspect of the pig's impact on me. I need also to mention the following:
  • Before my hunt, I was eating only fish, and I had problems with borderline anemia. My iron level has returned to normal thanks to eating the meat that the pig gave me, so the pig has changed my physical self as I have taken him in.
  • I feel connected to the pig every time I begin preparing a meal that includes some of the pig in it. I remember holding and handling the pig, and the meal becomes an extension of the promise I made to the pig to take care of and responsibility for him. So the pig has changed my spiritual and emotional self as I have taken him in.
The pig changed and is changing me. I will never be the same. I think that, once we have eaten all the meat that the pig gave us, the tanned pelt will be a wonderful reminder of this most generous creature.

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