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How to Harvest a Rotting Pig
Author: Nathaniel Slattery
Posted: 3rd Day of Sacred Heart, Year of Our Lord 2024
Petey when I got him

The following was originally posted to a group of Catholic pork butchers who I consider somewhat discouraging.

Remember, oh most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help, or sought Thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto Thee, oh Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To Thee do we come, before Thee do we stand, sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Thy mercy, hear and answer us.

We had a son born six days ago, and I slaughtered a boar two days later. I could not get him hung the first day, but left him on the ground overnight and hung him the next day. I could not get a good scald that day, but the barrel tipped many times, and I was filling it with a bucket from the creek. I scraped most of the lower half. Then, the third day, his tendon snapped, and he was on the ground again when I came out in the morning. I had been cooking blood sausage, and I saw him when I was chasing after my dog, who had gotten out and jumped on a ten year old girl (she was fine). We have a very heavenly family of girls that live in imitation of nuns staying with us in order to assist us with my new son. The mother heard me let out a derivative of God with a derivative of a curse as I was making blood sausage. I spilled a little of the blood because I had not tied it apparently properly, and I began to faint, which has happened before. She asked me to bless the food and used exorcised oil and blessed salt in order to remove the curse. Now, these things you cannot put down a drain, and so I was prepared to clean all the dishes in the creek, but she reassured me it could simply be mopped up with bread at the end of the meal.

I hung the boar again whenever I was able to get out there. I attempted to get a proper scald for three hours. I scraped perhaps fifty percent of his upper half. The head would not pop off, perhaps because my cut included too much of the neck, and after removing some chunks (used later in black stew), I sawed at it a little bit. It was dark when I finally got the guts out. I did not go in to read the manual that Mr. Sheard wrote but relied on my experience with smaller animals. I underestimated the size of the cavity and the leverage, etcetera, and was afraid to cut off the intestines, and so I cut around with the knife a little bit in the dark to get the remains of a pluck out. All that sat together in a wheel barrow overnight in my cellar. The next day, I harvested it in bits, and went and removed his fries.

That day, yesterday, I made deviled kidneys and black stew with lung and tripe. These were very good. I attempted livermush, but it was a sour mess. We will not be eating any of this today because, despite my persuasive reasoning, the girls all seem scandalized by the thought of eating meat on the day in which our Lord gave His flesh for our salvation, to be our Meat and Drink. So I will freeze much of the stew at least. (This did not freeze well and was trash a few months later). I hope to split him today and bring him inside the cellar in halves.

(I butchered him a few days later, cleaning and taking off whatever I needed to. Much meat was wasted, but we got many several meals out of it. The humidity in the cellar destroyed the cures, although it was simply too much for me, and I was pursuing God more heartily at that time. I learned much. It turns out the boar was probably six hundred pounds.)

There are many other difficulties which I do not record here, both with and besides the slaughter. A week or two ago I ran my phone through the wash and so do not have pictures. I prayed very much the above prayer, especially as I was trying to scald for three hours. I do not think it is normal to have edible organs after all that time, because you all told me so. However, I do think the Blessed Mother desired me to continue the labor, and that She preserved the harvest under Her title of our Lady of Good Success. The feast day thereof is less than a novena away. Deo volente, my son shall be baptized into the Kingdom of Heaven that day. Amen.