Today we began reading Laura Ingalls' Little House in the Big Woods. I read it to the kids many years ago, but I don't think they remember, so we're revisiting. I guess because gathering food was survival it was a main topic of conversation. I remember reading Farmer Boy to the kids years ago and just drooling over the pages and pages dedicated to popcorn. The first chapter of this book was food focused!
Little House in the Big Woods starts out describing Pa hunting and gathering, the family enjoying fresh venison, Pa smoking the remaining venison, the family growing a garden, Laura reminiscing on the time Pa almost shot a bear, Pa's big fishing success, and the killing of the family hog. The kids were fine with the smoking of the venison and the preparing of the fish. They understand the need to put food up for the winter so as not to starve. The didn't quite relish in the thought of Laura wishing her dad would have shot the bear because she loves the taste of bear. But when the part of killing the hog came up, like Laura, our daughter covered her head, plugged her ears, and began humming so as not to hear the hog squeal. Okay, she couldn't hear the hog squeal, but just reading about the killing of the hog was getting to her.
After Pa killed the hog, he blew up the bladder so Mary and Laura could play "ball" tossing it around like a balloon. Our kids began to squirm. The book goes on to describe the highlight of the hog killing. Roasting the tail. Yum! Yum! Pa took a stick and inserted it in the tail then the girls roasted it, listening to it crackle and drip.
All the time I'm reading our daughter was still humming under the blanket.
Guess we won't be having crispy hog tail anytime soon. Funny how times change.
Tomorrow we'll go on to chapter two. Will more food be on the agenda?