Dinner was over. The dishes were done. I’d just finished reading no less than 18 consecutive children’s books to my 3 year old. And now what was I doing?
I was opening up the fridge — not for a midnight snack, but rather, to pull out the pot full of pheasant carcasses that needed cleaning, cutting, and bagging.
And for the next 45 minutes, I got in some nice, relaxing “knife time”.
Now, I know that butchering probably isn’t most folks’ idea of fun, but I just love it — especially wild game.
There’s something hypnotic about hunching over a sink, picking bits of feather off a pheasant carcass. It’s almost like your mind just shuts off, and the only thing that matters is digging out all the BBs and bone fragments.
It’s just so relaxing.
And once they’re all cleaned off, then out comes the knife, and then the real fun begins.
Please pardon the morbidity, but through long hours of practice, I’ve gotten pretty good at breaking down a bird carcass. I know just where the knife needs to go to separate joints. I’ve learned which seams to follow to get good, appetizing hunks of meat, regardless of how shot-up the bird might have been. And I don’t mean to toot my own horn too much, but I can tease a good deal more meat off a carcass than your average Joe.
Plus, the act of butchering actually brings me closer to the animals I hunt.
I’ve found that the more time I spend “taking them apart,” the deeper my respect grows for that animal — even on an individual basis.
During my knife time, I can sometimes read stories from that animal’s life. Scars, abnormalities, physical quirks… If you look close enough, they can each tell a story and help you to see the animal for the unique and special individual it was.
And moreover, the little intricacies and ingenious complexities of it all bear witness to me that these beautiful animals were designed by an all-knowing Creator.
Yup, as weird as it may sound, my knife time serves to strengthen my faith in God.
When all was said and done, however — when the pheasants were finally bagged and resting in the freezer, I washed off my knife, wiped the countertops down (again) and made my way to the couch to write my Gratitude Rant for the day.
And to tell you the truth, I wanted to write about something a little more cheery and mainstream, but my mind kept going back to those pheasants in the freezer.
Today I’m grateful for knife time.