『ぼくは猟師になった』—獲る。剥ぐ。採る。煮る。蒸す。焼く。食べる。

獲物が足を降ろす地点を想像するだけでなく、どの足でそこを踏むかまで計算する必要があります。掛かった脚は、暴れたりすると血管が締め付けられ、内出血などを起こしてしまいます。こうなると肉が傷んでしまうため、良質なモモ肉が取れる後脚よりも肉の量の少ない前脚に狙いを定めます。


以前に猟師エッセイマンガの『山賊ダイアリー』を紹介しましたが、こちらも非常に面白い”猟エッセイ”

大学生の時に猟と出会い、卒業した後もアルバイトと猟をこなす生活を続ける著者。
もの珍しい内容ではありますが、著者自身は淡々と自分の生活を綴っているだけ、という印象も受ける本です。

日々を綴るだけではなく、きちんと”解説”がされている、細かい本です。
シカの解体方法を写真付きで説明したり、ワナの仕掛けを図解したり。

ぼくは猟師になった

ぼくは猟師になった

著者が行うのは、ワナ猟。
銃は使わずに、ワナで獲物を捕らえます。

ワナで動物を殺すのは禁じられているため、全て生け捕り。最終的に、自分の手でしとめる必要があります。

僕はとりあえず、その場を離れ、手頃な木を切りロープを準備しました。しかし、いざシカの脚をロープでしばろうとするとなかなかうまくいきません。シカでも油断すると蹴られて骨折する場合があると聞いていたので、遠くから恐る恐るの作業になってしまい、うまくいかなかったのです。いつまでたってもロープはかからずだんだん焦ってきます。

はじめての猟。
怖々と、遠くからロープを投げることしかできません。そして、ロープに引っかかる前に、ワナのワイヤーに足を絡ませたシカはしゃがみこみます。

これはラッキーやな。もう、多少危険でもやるしかないわ。
僕は覚悟を決め、木の棒を振りかざしてシカに近付づき、渾身の力を込めてシカの後頭部をどつきました。一発でした。シカはその場に倒れ込こみ、しばらく痙攣。その後、わずかに鳴き声を漏らしたあと、動かなくなりました。

自分の手で殺す。
比喩でも何でもなく、出荷するのでもなく、殺す感触を得るということ。それは、ひとつの「食べるという感触」でもあるかも知れません。
生々しさにたじろぐとともに、目を逸らすことのできない、引きつける力を感じます。

読んでいて驚くのは、動物たちの危険を察知する能力。
どんなに通い慣れた道でも、人間の痕跡を感じ取ればスパッと歩みを変えてしまいます。

僕が使っているワイヤーは直径四ミリの軟性鋼鉄ワイヤーで、工業用油をしみこませていないものです。それを大鍋で、カシやクスノキなどのにおいのきつい樹皮と一緒に十時間以上煮込んでにおいを消すのです。最初は銀色だったワイヤーはいい感じにツヤが消え、黒く変色していきます。猟師のなかには自分がワナをしかける予定の山の土を取ってきて、一ヶ月以上埋めておくという人もいます。

臭いを消す方法ですが、『山賊ダイアリー』では樹皮と煮るのではなく、川にワイヤーをつけ込んでいました。
読み比べていると、こうした細かい違いを知ることができて楽しいです。
『山賊ダイアリー』では、著者の岡本さんがにおいを気にしてトリートメントを使わないようにするか考えるところが、印象的で覚えています。

ぼくは猟師になった

以前紹介した『飼い喰い』「育てて食う」でしたが、今回の『ぼくは猟師になった』は、「獲って食う」
違うところも多々あれど、重なる部分もとても多いです。
この2冊、食い合わせがいいです。

きっかけは覚えていませんが、食に関する本に手を伸ばすことが多くなっていて、「食べる、てどういうことなんだろう」とよく考えます。その疑問は、他の動物の命を獲る、ということだけではありません。
「料理って、なんなんだろう」「目の前にある野菜、肉は、どういう流れでここまで来たんだろう」と、食全般について疑問を持つとともに、「つまり、自分は食について、いろんなことを考えてこなかったんだなぁ」と実感しています。

自分の知らない世界が、ギュっと濃縮された本で、黙々と興奮しながら読むことができました。
魚も獲れば、山菜も採る。よだれが出てきて、腹が減る本でもあります。

しかし、まさかスズメも食べるとは。

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