I usually try to be an undercover vegetarian. That is next to impossible in Romania; declining meat gets you noticed. I broke my vegetarianism once, when a woman who had us over for a village-party dinner offered me soup. (I’d been offered chicken so many times after having admitted that I didn’t eat meat, so I didn’t even bother trying to explain that chicken stock wasn’t vegetarian.)
Guided By Voices – Big Fan Of The Pigpen
Of course, if I hadn’t been skeptical of my actual physical ability to eat meat, I would have had no qualms about the meat raised in Stanciova. Chickens wandered around the outdoor kitchen and through the garden, the roosters announcing their presence at (very) frequent intervals (“cucurigu!”). The pigs next door enjoyed an enormous pen, into which I chucked buckets of food scraps and entire squashes for them to eat. The cow, who had a newborn calf, was taken out to pasture every day.
The Heavy – Set Me Free
Even the young goat next door at Maria and Mihai’s enjoyed some freedom, prancing about the enclosure and causing trouble. He had been named Silvio Berlusconi, and was just as rude of an animal as his namesake. When sorting potatoes one day, Mihai kept chucking potatoes at the goat in irritation — he and young Silvio had not been the best of friends since the day Mihai got trapped in the rabbit cage.
Coachwhips – Evil Son
The rabbits were housed in enormous cages, and Mihai needed to use a ladder so he could repair the cage on the top. Silvio came by and kicked away the ladder while Mihai was up top, and because it was very early, before dawn, Mihai was forced to wait in the cage for at least an hour until someone could move the ladder back.
Silver Columns – Way Out
It was thus with great pleasure that Mihai and everyone else were able to enjoy Silvio a week later at Teo’s birthday party — in the form of a meat loaf.