Swine Lake, Part II
©Ken Harris, 2006
On this particular occasion Fritz had to go to work and so was unavailable to help us. But we didn’t worry. We had done enough of this thing ourselves. We put food in the trough and the pigs crowded in to eat. We selected the pig we wanted and Joanne put a .38 caliber wad cutter into his head. Just to make sure, Joanne shot the pig in the head several times. Wad cutters are slugs squared off at the ends. It’s like shooting pieces of rebar.
When you shoot a pig in the head with a .38 caliber wad cutter, you will kill him. The only trouble is,the pig doesn’t always know it. And this sometimes interferes with step two, which is slicing the pig’s throat to get the blood out.
In this particular case, as soon as Joanne shot the pig in the head, he withdrew to be very center of Swine Lake. Joanne and I looked at each other. We looked at each other’s feet. She was wearing mud boots. I was wearing regular shoes because I didn’t have mud boots. She won. She got to slice the royal throat.
Joanne approached the pig and slit its throat nicely, I thought. And that’s when the pig began to sing and dance. “BYOR-R-R-K!!” it sounded, even though it’s head was almost severed, inhaling air through its open trachea. “BYOR-R-R-K!!” again. Meanwhile it stood on its hind legs and byorrrked some more. People from homes a quarter of a mile away stuck their heads out of doors and windows and peered into the noontime gloom, wondering what was happening in that distant fog. Surely something dreadful.
Finally the pig ran out of energy and began to lie down in the mud. But in a final burst of defiance, he stood up and fell over onto the other side, so that his body was completely covered with foul goop instead of only one side of it. Then with a convulsive inhalation, the pig ingested slime into his interior, creating an unholy mess inside and out.
Joanne dragged the carcass to the shore where I could help her get him on the hoist. Usually humans win at a pig slaughtering, but this time I think it was a draw.
Man, I was so glad I didn’t have mud boots.