Hog butchering in November
I grew up on a cotton farm in Union County. When the first really cold days in November came, it was time to butcher hogs. The reason I looked forward to this day was that I got to miss school.
Before the hog was slaughtered, it was my job to get the wood fire going so that the water in the scalding tub was ready when the carcass was brought to it. Later, I helped scrape the hair from the hog until it was completely cleaned. A rope block-and-tackle hoisted the carcass up until it was clear of the ground. Then I watched Dad begin to remove the inner parts of the carcass. After this, they used a wood-chopping ax to cut the carcass in two halves. The tenderloin was removed first so that Mother could prepare it for our lunch. Next, the ham and side meat, then the shoulders were removed. Our dog usually enjoyed hog killing as much as I, because he got the tail.
Then it was time to clean up the mess and burn the hair. That gave off a terrible smell which I did not like. After clean up, it was time to retire to the kitchen table, mount the hand-driven sausage grinder and start the hard job of grinding the sausage.
At day's end, I welcomed the return of school the next day.