Real Education

May 9, 2008

This is slightly embarrassing.  But it is also very cool.

See, we have been waiting for a particular time in the homeschooling journey when our children would, individually, begin to show strong interests in various areas.  Then we as parents would enable them to pursue these areas by buying the things needed to immerse themselves in the study of the interest.  This is real world education and I have been anxiously awaiting it!

It is here.

My son has had a growing interest in fur handling.  That is, the art of skinning small furbearers and selling them at fur markets.  He has done 3 animals, basically by the seat of his pants and with horrible laying-around-the-house tools, which is code for dull knives, dull scissors, and “Hi!-Welcome-to-Subway!” plastic, floppy, food-handlers gloves.  Shameful, I know.  But we really wanted to see if his interest was like the one he had when he was five and wanted to fly to the moon.  Or scuba-dive for a living. 

Well, the interest has been an enduring one.  And it now encompasses hunting and trapping.  Basically?  This sweet-hearted boy has the desire to hunt and kill cute, innocent, furry little animals who would otherwise skip happily through the forest picking flowers for their mommies.

So.  I bought him 2 books on trapping and fur handling, and a DVD on skinning.  Not because I am actually able to stomach the acts shown, but because I want my son to delve into the interests the Lord has placed in him.  And not because I want him to think I’m a cool mom……although, that would be neat and all, but I think that walking through the living room hiding my eyes and making wretching noises while he’s watching the DVD just does NOT make me cool.  Oh well.  I can live with that.

The Lord obviously directed me to the books and DVD because, in fur handlers speak…..they TOTALLY rock!!!  I mean, I am now able to carry on conversations with my son that go like this……

“Well, you know, the wet-scraping method of fleshing the pelt is apparently better than the dry-scraping one because of the end result you get.  The pelts will sell better.  And if you are planning on tanning, you’ve just GOTTA try brain tanning.  That is SO the way to go.  But first, you’ve GOT to have the right fleshing tool and pelting knife.”

See?  Pretty impressive, huh?  The scary part is that I actually understand that paragraph!  It’s not really a topic that will come up in a quilting class, ya know?  Not that I GO to quilting class…..just trying to make a point.

Well, this child is DYING for some small animals to skin.  It’s a bummer that we live on a street that only has 3 cars a day go by.  Because that very much decreases the probability that one of them will hit a raccoon or fox or something, trying to cross the street. 

But this son is nothing, if not inventive.  Here is what he has done in the meantime…..

He took a beanie baby and a sock.  He cut holes in the sock so that the beanie baby’s head and legs stick out.  Then he rigged up a gambrel and……what?……you don’t know what a gambrel is?  Well, I do because I have been steeped in the craft of skinning lately.  Steeped, I tell ya!  It’s a metal thingy that is used for hanging the dead little furry animal upside down so that its skin can be ripped from its cute little furry self. 

Well, you asked.

So he rigged up a gambrel, hung the beanie baby up by its legs, grabbed a pretend pelting knife, and proceeeded to cut that sock (pelt) off of the beanie baby.  Pathetic, huh?

I think I’m going to have to get in the van tonight when it gets dark, hunt down some unsuspecting cute little furry animal, and run it down.

What?!  It’s educational!

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6 Responses to “Real Education”

  1. Palmetto Boy said

    You are SOME Mom! It is so neat the manner in which you get involved in your childrens’ lives.

  2. Kelly said

    How faboulously politically incorrect. I love it!

  3. Zum said

    Talk about books and a DVD that totally rocks . . . . . . . how about a MOM that totally rocks?!!!! I agree with Palmetto Boy – you are so involved with your children’s lives and so supportive of them, and that is so nice to see in this day and age. You GO, Mom!!!

  4. joanna said

    Wow. I can say it backwards: wow! My stomach is turning but hey, I’m all for educational moments.

  5. Happy Geek said

    I want to be like you when I grow up!
    It’s a cool mom that wants to off a woodland creature for her son.
    Wait till he wants to skin the snakes at your new house!

  6. Heather said

    Oh my goodness! I have lived in the midwest WAY too long! I understood every bit of that sentence about how to prepare a fur! I’m not sure whether I should be proud, embarassed, or distressed. 🙂

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