We couldn’t have planned it better. Luis bought along his very much alive bantum chickens, on this day that for random reasons, we bought along 4 dead game birds, 2 pheasants and 2 partridge. We all felt the the life in the bantum chicks who were amazingly tame and easy to be handled. Their names were Cherie (male) and Munchkin(female). Luis described them to us – their extra toe, the spur, the crop of the male bantums. There natural environment is woodland and they did make themselves at home, scratching the earth with their feathered feat.
And there they are, hanging naturally on the stump, the dead game birds. Shot a few days ago at Benacre, they are still fresh. A cock and hen pheasant, and two partridges.
Eloise invited us to think about the bird first, before we took it’s meat. We thought about it’s short life, its’ grain food and felt it’s body, admired its beautiful colourful feathers. Eloise taught us how to break open the birds legs, revealing the breast. She plucked the breast, helped by Luis and a few others. Then she cut out the breast, careful not to damage the rib cage.
Then we did our own autopsy on the pheasant, which naturally had all the same organs inside it as we do, the heart, the lungs, the kidney, the liver and the stomach. To our amazement, in the stomach we saw mixed with the digested grain, a strange bright green piece. It was plastic. Goodness gracious. Even in the stomachs of birds, plastic gets everywhere.
Opening up the pheasants crop – the bit that leads from the mouth to the stomach – we saw the undigested grains.
Luis held the heart of the pheasant!
On our fire we cooked the phesant breast cut in to pieces and lightly salted. I think everyone except our one vegetarian tried it, and many came back for more.
‘Can we do this next week too?’, asked one.
The remains, you will be glad to hear, were buried with a ceremony, presided over by Gracie.
Meanwhile, others were finishing their oak boards. My mix of bees wax and coconut oil did not work, but John Esling who happened to be visiting came to the rescue and we had much greater success with his back of truck found linseed oil.
We had an artist visiting us today, Eloise’s mother, Jill, who with others of the tribe decorated a tree and found giant fungi.
Nothing could stop our Twilight group from doing the same, investigating our game. They did the two partridge, once again under the careful tutorial of Eloise. Neither had ever investigated the inside of a bird before. It was quite some adventure.
‘What does it taste like?’ we asked all of them – for all ate our cooked breast.
‘Chicken’, said one.