The Butcher on the Day of His Daughter’s Birth

| December 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

He stood, bone knife in hand, at the back of the store with a thawed hog’s carcass, split in half, on the steel counter in front of him.

He flipped the pig over, so its inside was facing up, revealing the ribs and stomach. It was a heavy, cold slab of muted pinks and marbled, cream-colored flesh and fat and a broad rack of ribs. The skin was a combination of pale pink and yellow bruises and zigzagging purple spider veins.

He gripped the front leg with his left hand, counted four ribs from the neck, and then cut his way through the animal with the knife in his right, severing the shoulder primal.

Next, he ran his left hand down the back of the hog, stopping just below the hipbone. He forced his knife through the hind portion of the animal, taking off the leg and setting it aside.

Then, he rotated the midsection so it was lying vertically on the counter in front of him. With the end of the knife, he marked halfway between the back and the belly with a shallow incision down the middle.

He set down the knife, picked up the eighteen-inch bone saw, and worked his way through the torso with mild effort.

The ribs snapped like matches.

Switching back to the knife, he sliced through the last layer of flesh, separating the belly and the loin.

In front of him, the cold animal parts lay on the cold, chrome counter, and, for a moment, he felt alive.


feature photo credit: weiss_paarz_photos Newborn Baby in Hospital – Baby Photo via photopin (license)

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