She met her end quickly and painlessly. Our Dear Friend held her legs as Sweet Husband sliced the artery in her neck. The Kid and I, along with Dear Friend's Wife and their Dear Baby, watched from a few feet away. It was incredibly lower drama than I thought it would be. She didn't thrash or move or make any noise at all. After a few seconds, I asked, "So, is she dead?" And, indeed, she was.
Getting her cleaned was a bit more difficult. Since it was only her, we had planned to just remove her skin rather than setting up a pot to scald her and pluck her feathers. Sweet Husband and Dear Friend had trouble seeing where to cut through the feathers to get the skin off. Once that was done, however, they made relatively quick work of the rest of her. We took home the bulk of the meat; the critters that live in Dear Friends' woods were left to finish off her skin and innards.
She was a bit scrawny and dark. Not nearly as plump and white as a bird you would buy at the store. Also, because she was a bit older than a typical roasting bird, I knew she would be tough if we just plunked her in the oven, so a pot of chicken and noodles it was.
I'd be lying if I said I slurped down my soup with no guilt. It was tasty--Sweet Husband, the Kid, and even Moe each ate a bowl with gusto--but it was still a bit weird for me. Sweet Husband even teased me a little, "You should be proud," he said, noting that we had, at last, managed to raise our own meat.
And I am proud of that, no doubt. But I think, after years of being so disconnected from my food...of knowing where it comes from, but not knowing it personally...digging into an animal that I've named--even if it was one I didn't care for at all--might take me a few more tries.