1.28.2009

mongoose: it's what's for dinner.

Today, a mongoose wandered into the trap with our newly fashioned trigger mechanism (baited with peanut butter, the magical stuff) and found himself in quite a predicament.

Marshall and I went back to square one with our trigger system yesterday. The previous system was not sensitive enough - the bait was taken, the door was still up.

Our first attempt with the new system worked quite well. Yesterday, we checked the trap after lunch and it had been triggered. Did the wind trip it? Or was it a mongoose?!? Well... there's no mongoose... Unfortunate. BUT WAIT! Is that hair? Sure enough, one of the wires had been bent inward and a large ball of mongoose hair was stuck to the end. We had trapped one, but it escaped.

After our close encounter, we were determined more than ever to catch one for good. We could already see the difference that morning had made as we found egg after egg in the chicken tractor, untouched and beautiful. The mongoose-dem were scared at least. We reinforced the section of the cage where it had escaped and reset it immediately.

After having the wind blow the trigger shut a few times yesterday afternoon, we reset it once again this morning. This time it was perfect. It was strong enough to hold against the wind, but sensitive enough for a mongoose to trip. After lunch, Marshall checked the trap. The door was shut. Wind again, for sure... Wait! There is a long, hairy tail sticking through the cage wall! We got one! (Sorry this is cheesy, but this is literally how we felt).

We were in the middle of an exercise for class, so Ben, the farm founder and executive director, ran out of the community center, unsheathed his knife, and headed for the trap. He pinned the mongoose to the back side of the cage with a horse shoe nail and reached around with his knife, stabbing it a few times until it was lifeless. I'm actually glad I didn't witness this part, because it sounded pretty gruesome from Ben's description of the encounter.

After class, Marshall and I took the mongoose carcass to the supply container/workshed and skinned it. Marshall showed me the process and all the intricate cuts that must be made in order to leave a clean hide and good meat. I held its back legs apart while the most gruesome cuts were made - guts spilled out and rectal cavities were dismembered. It was appetizing.

We left a pretty nice hide for Wren to work with (I don't know what she wants to do with it. She skinned a cat last week, too. You would never guess it by looking at her because she has the presence of an angel, but she knows how to get her hands dirty). We also left Keith (the chef) a decent amount of meat (for a big rat) to work with as well. Mulligan stew will be on the menu in the coming weeks if I have anything to do with it.

We'll bait the trap and reset it tomorrow morning. We're gonna need at least 10 more to make a nice stew.

4 comments:

max. said...

you could make a nice mongoose muffler. or some mongoose mittens.

benjamin said...

make that two mongoose mufflers - we caught another one this afternoon.

Will Rucker said...

dude, not cheesy at all. that's so totally manly. especially that you gutted it and stripped it's intestines, with blood going everywhere. totally manly. nice ben.

max. said...

nah. mongoose socks. it isn't alliteration, but it will be warm.