Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Enjoy this riveting description of cutting open a horse and crawling inside to survive a storm in the wild by Guy Vanderhaeghe, from The Last Crossing:

"Simon scrambled to his knees, knife upraised. Drove the sixteen-inch blade into the horse's chest, sawed the belly down to the legs. Guts spilling, a thin steam sifting out of the lips of the incision. Plunged his hands into the mess of entrails. Tore away, scooping offal behind him, hacking with the knife at whatever resisted, whatever clung. Moaning, hunching his shoulders, drawing his knees up to his chest, wriggling away at the mouth of the wound, he burrowed into the balmy pocket."

Sawed, spilling, sifting, plunged, tore, scooping, hacking, moaning, wriggling. I've often thought of getting this passage tattooed somewhere on my body. The act of cutting open an animal and crawling inside becomes poetry in the hands of a master, fraught with the implications of using one's former friend and companion as shelter from the storm. The moral and emotional ramifications of cutting open domesticated animals and crawling inside will be discussed further in a later post.

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