Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Madame Grognonne and the Pig's Squeak


Since the unfortunate incident involving Madame Grognonne’s dirty linen and the run away pig, life has been a trifle frenzied here.

Madame Grognonne has been stretching her somewhat limited culinary skills, the pig having not sadly survived being unceremoniosuly sat upon by the entire domestic staff of Chateau Loufoque.
Loic was quite distressed at the pigs demise, as he felt the fault was entirely his alone, having not only allowed it to escape from the potting shed in the first place, but also hastening its end by accidentally harpooning it with the spike attachment on his artificial leg which, ironically, he had affixed in order to better collect the unripe fruit, fallen in the orchard after all the unseasonable wind and rain, in order to feed them to the piglets.

He has therefore taken to wearing a black crepe armband and would have insisted upon a full funeral had Madame Grognonne not swiftly butchered the creature and converted it into a larder full of rillettes, salted pork, jarrette and pate for the family consumption. She did however give him the pig’s squeak in a small jar and he and the children interred it in a pleasant spot beneath the apple trees with solemn funereal rites and a wake afterwards for which Madame Grognonne kindly provided a cold buffet including several dishes of pork in various disguises, which thankfully Loic was weeping to hard to identify as his dear departed porcine companion. I am not entirely sure where the squeak in a pig is located nor what it might look like, however it provided Loic with something solid on which to focus his grief.

We nearly had a rather unpleasant scene when Loic, seeking solace in the company of others, strayed into the cobbled courtyard, where Madame Grognonne had fatefully being doing her washing prior to the children dousing her and her undergarments in cold water, and where the soon to be deceased pig was being prepared for its immersion in the vast copper usually reserved for the laundry. Thankfully youngest spotted him in time and, using the quick thinking for which he is renowned, shot him in the posterior with a well aimed arrow thus providing sufficient distraction for Madame Grognonne and Eldest to hang a sheet on the line to obscure his view of the swiftly expiring pig hanging by its trotters on a hook.

Obviously as Madame Grognonne was fully occupied in hastily preparing the Boudin noir and could not be distracted for fear of a culinary disaster, some one had to be found to remove the arrow now protruding painfully from Loic’s extremities, a job for which none of us were fully qualified or experienced nor prepared to attempt single handed. Middle however volunteered to try, providing Jacques sat upon Loics shoulders to hold him down and youngest helped him pull.

All went very well until Loic suddenly regained consciousness, quiet unexpectedly, at an extremely delicate and inopportune moment and attempted to struggle to his feet. As luck would have it, at that precise second Madame Grognonne dropped the axe, with which she was doing something unmentionable to the pig carcass, and the resulting cry of pain accompanied by the metallic clatter of the implement on the cobbles, was enough to send Loic in to a state of rigid shock again, thus providing ample opportunity for the boys to continue their business of arrow extraction undisturbed.

I think it unlikely that Loic will be able to sit comfortably for sometime, but that besides, it all went remarkably well considering.

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This painting of the cut pig by Isaack van Ostrade I think gives a clear illustration of exactly why it was better for Loic to undergo the indignaty of minor surgery without anesthetic rather than risk further post traumatic stress by entering the yard and seeing his former bed fellow thus. Sometimes in life it is necessary to be cruel in order to be kind.

15 comments:

Cait O'Connor said...

Your blog should have gone on my list of 'cheerer-uppers', everyone's really. When will you be published?
Caitx

ChrisH said...

Poor old Loic really has a rough time of it... isn't it about time he had a treat?

The Country Craft Angel said...

Poor Loic indeed!!

You are clever UPL and these do always cheer...
warm wishes
x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What could you treat poor Loic to? Amy's room was once used to hang pigs, you can occasionally hear muffled snorts as you walk by.

Crystal xx

Grouse said...

Such a relief!!!!!!!!!When I saw the picture....I thought:
'Oh! No! Poor Loic!' But it turned out to be the pig.........

bodran... said...

I was doig muffled snorts as i read that blog, i do love them x

Fennie said...

I meant to leave a comment on the 4th July blog but left one instead by mistake on 2 July, without the benefit of which my comment on the flying pig in the Common Room will have been quite unintelligible. Glad the Loufoque family are back.

Hope Loic will be OK. Richard I died (can't have been that far from you was it?) from the incompetent removal of an arrow shot carelessly into his posterior (though the history books say it was his shoulder) so compliments to Loic and my advice would be a large dose of antibiotics.

sally's chateau said...

How you maintain your composure and aura of calm is quite beyond me my dear !!

muddyboots said...

oh how l have chuckled, this tale is so like mother-in-laws, a farmer's daughter no less, of when she was a lass & preparing pigs for slaughter in the yard, I'll just have to ask her where she put the squeak! oh the joy of pig au naturelle not a la polystyrene tray!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Look at 'em all above ...'poor Loic' indeed...the cheek of it! I've been saying it for weeks ...its no good I shall fetch him if you do not start to look after the poor man properly! Bless him! I shall start a society for the saving of the souls of one legged gardeners with shell shock!!

lampworkbeader said...

Hopefully all that tempting porc will make a tasty change from the veal you had to get through in past weeks. By the way you'll find the pig's squeak situated just below the .....

Pondside said...

Mmmmmm - Some Virginia-style smoked ham for Frances and some Canadian peameal bacon for moi please!

jackofall said...

I thought the pig's squeak was what accompanied the bubble? Though I'm not sure from which part of which animal the bubble comes, and I'm not sure I want to know, either.

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Ha you can see who cooks in this household can't you!! Fancy not knowing where the pigs bubble is, next thing he won't know where we keep the runcible spoons!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh good grief - poor Loic - poor pig.