2.24.2017

The Womanly Art of Peeling Rabbits

The other day I was all set to go crash a roller derby practice in another town when I got a call from a friend, Dame-O, to please come help flesh rabbits.

I am a good friend.

Fleshing rabbits is the part of the process of tanning a rabbit pelt where the fatty tissue is removed from the flesh, or what will be the leather.  It's a slightly persnickety job and requires a bit of finesse to get some speed up, but not so much attention to detail that you overthink the situation and decide that you'd rather shove it all in the closet and never think about it again. 

Putting your tanning project off and pushing it back to where dwelleth unfinished sewing projects and clothes that you want to fit into when you finally lose weight is a really bad idea.  For obvious reasons, dealing with organic materials has a timeline that needs to be respected. When it's rabbit fleshing time, it's rabbit fleshing time.

In other words, it's a social job, to do with friends, like making cabbage rolls or quilting.  Work that can be shared by many hands.  Women's work.  Smart women, anyway. 

So, we had a fleshing bee. 

Before we go on, for delicate constitutions, I offer you this picture of Battle Cat having a little chortle and then you may be excused from this discussion. 


For anyone still here, I'll tell you I have some beautiful pictures of inside out rabbits that I will not share at this moment.  If you want to see the process in detail, the Internet does a good job of hiding nothing.  This video is great for getting a detailed look at what's happening and learning the process.

Now I would like to offer up my own observations on peeling rabbits. 

First, rabbits make even non-allergic people's noses twitchy. 

Your hands get all wet and wrinkly like you've been soaking in the tub for an hour, only inside of wine and bubbles, you have achy thumbs and micro-abrasions. 

When you accidently pull out a nipple, it makes a little popping noise that will cause children to scream and run from the room. 

The backside of faces it less interesting than you'd think, although the whisker roots are fascinatingly alien.  Or like cartons that show carrots from the underside of the garden, down in a rabbit warren.  

Dead, skinned rabbits are still cute.   

Okay, one picture to share.  This is Dame-O in her rabbit peeling fashions, fleshing a rabbit face.  Be assured, this is a very wholesome activity and she is not a monster.

 
I'm not sure exactly what my friend has planned for her hides but I do know that shared work get reciprocated and I happen to have a medium sized quilt that needs to be hand quilted.  Now, quilting, that is terrible, dark work.  As I realized the other day, I quilt because I have anger issues and I have anger issues because I quilt.
 
Though, to my knowledge, no one has ever accidently popped a nipple while quilting.
 
Here's hoping, anyway.

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