They treat their animals with care until the day they're ready to dispatch them.
On that day, they tie the pig's leg across its chest and lug it along, keeping it off balance.
At this point, the pig realizes it's in mortal danger, and the people who have fed it all its life are now its enemies.
But the howling squeals garner it no pity. Three men struggle to attach the second cord and pull its legs back to expose the throat.
One puncture begins the inexorable flood of blood, and death comes after a minute of unanswered trumpeting calls for help.
It makes a sound like a dying dinosaur.
This pig almost got free of its bonds, giving everyone a fright, and giving the men a higher feeling of accomplishment when it was dead.
Once they wash up, it becomes a two person job; two men disappear and the woman of the house takes over helping Petru.
To clean the hair off the pig, they cover it with hay,
and set it on fire.
They repeat the burning several times, scraping the hair off after each burn.
Petru rests for a moment, tuica in hand.
They drag the pig away from its blood.
Chickens take advantage of some windfall nutrition.
The pig's eye comes out to help drain out the blood.
Its eye gets tossed on the ground.
After a few fires, they peel off the hooves and throw them on the ground.
Its ears have been heated enough for them to cut them off.
It's considered a treat.
A stiff brush scrubs away the burnt skin and hair. It's the only way to get it clean.
They all use doors for the butchering.
This pig is 240 kilos (530 pounds) and it took five people to lift it onto the butchering table.
They keep washing out its blood.
It's the third cleaning of the blood.
First to come off are the legs, peeled off sort of like pruning branches -- cut and peel.
Their next priority is to get the head off. It requires the most boiling to be made into sausage.
Marioara's mother died seven weeks ago, so in her forties, she's learning how to butcher a pig for the first time. Petru, her neighbor, is passing on the time honored wisdom.
They strain to crack open the skull.
It splits open faster with a hatchet.
With the head gone, they move on to slitting the hide, ...
... and peeling off the fat.
Marioara carries off the fatback, which they call 'Slanina.' Once it's smoked, it forms a staple part of their year-round diet.
The intestines get piled into a plastic lined basket.
This is the point where things began to really smell.
The organs come out and go into the soup.
The spine comes off of an ever-shrinking pile of flesh.
They work stoically through the freezing temperatures. It was two hours before Marioara complained her hands were cold.
The pigs bladder holds about two liters of urine (half a gallon.)
They tie off one end of the bladder to keep the toxic contents inside.
Marioara uses the urine from the other end of the bladder to help wash the stones free of the blood.
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