Decapping the 'Roo

 

2011   80 x 127 cms

 

Marty scrounges for a carving knife in Caileen's kitchen and splits the stomach so that the intestines can be yanked out and fried in a skillet for immediate consumption. He sharpens two twigs to skewer the flaps. Harry cuts off the tail and wraps it in aluminum foil. The legs are broken. We'd lit a fire besides a shallow grave shoveled in the front yard. When the fire is reduced to embers Marty shovels them into the pit and the buck is rotated to singe off its fur. The carcass is placed in the embers and Harry places the tail at its side. Marty gently distributes the embers for an even cook for an hour and-a-half as the women retire. When done he hacks with a tomahawk, according to custom, the two thighs, two hips, and the two sides of ribs, one of which Harry generously offers me. Blood from the chest cavity and thighs is captured in a large cup for drinking and passed between us. The stomach, head, tail, feet, back and lower back were butchered with great deliberation, as we constantly kept at bay the eager attentions of a dozen dogs. They'd slink off into the shadows with each remonstration only to ease silently back to savor even a lick of blood. Whenever scraps were proffered, fierce battles would transpire resulting in several bloodied ears and necks.