Nathan went hunting tonight with a guy from our church. Actually, first they went out this morning and missed a shot again (Larry this time, not Nathan). Larry's a very experienced hunter (lost track of his lifetime bag somewhere around 33) so tonight he got one! A young "button buck." (Larry said if he had known it was a young buck he would have let it go because peole like to leave them to turn into trophy bucks). We're going to split it. It's hanging from a tree in the snowy cold outside my kitchen window (ick). Larry taught Nathan a few things about finding deer and is sure that Nathan's gonna get his first any day now... I'm hoping he's right! And I think Nathan could care less about the "thrill of the hunt" and all the testosterone that goes with it, he's just wanting to put some good meat on the table.
I've never had a problem raising animals for meat and I sure like to eat meat, but I always get a little melancholy... I just have a thing about death. Nathan says it's just natural to dislike it because killing animals for food is an unnatural thing. We just weren't created that way. I'm an oversensitive baby, I guess. ("Pioneer stock... sturdy farm hand" I keep thinking to myself. I'm trying to talk myself into toughness.) We do our own slaughtering (deer and poultry) and it's really not a fun job, but it saves some money, I guess. I admit that I'm a wuss and would rather send them off to the packing house and then go pick up my meat in neat little packages. It's nice to be removed from the uncomfortable parts of where my food comes from. But I try to "grin and bear it" and I'm always glad later when the dirty work is done and I have some meat stored up.
Jonah was trying to undertand and was asking questions about "getting a deer" and "is the deer dead?" and "do we get the meat out?" and "we're gonna eat the deer?" So I explained to him that God gives us animals to eat for food and it's okay to kill them sometimes so that we can eat them. He's been grappling with the idea of death and killing and such lately and it's hard to help him understand. He's only 3 1/2... I just reminded him that we always thank God for providing us with good food to eat. He didn't seem upset or grossed out or anything. He just accepts it because he picks up on our attitude, of course.
So I guess I'll have quite a bit of canning and grinding and freezing to do this week! And then I can relax a little about streeeeetching the meat quite so much (I've gotten good at that lately...). And maybe God will bless us with another one and I won't have to stretch meat again for a while!