Saturday, January 14, 2012

Learn a life skill: Read a novel

Sometimes a passage will do nothing for the plot, zip for the growth of the characters, and zilch for conveying a lasting message of any kind- but you still love it because it provides a killer description of something you'll probably never experience first-hand. In that spirit, let's let Tom Joad show us how to skin a rabbit:
Tom took up the rabbit in his hand. "One of you go get some bale wire outa the barn. We'll make a fire with some of this broken plank from the house." He looked at the dead rabbit. "There ain't nothing so easy to get ready as a rabbit," he said. He lifted the skin of the back, slit it, put his fingers in the hole, and tore the skin off. It slipped off like a stocking, slipped off the body to the neck, and off the legs to the paws. Joad picked up the knife again and cut off the head and the feet. He laid the skin down, slit the rabbit along the ribs, shook out the intestines onto the skin, and then threw the mess off into the cotton field. And the clean-muscled little body was ready.
-John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

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