Little House in the Big Woods with less meat?
August 27, 2019 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Which sections of Little House in the Big Woods have no animal deaths or meat preparation?

I'm learning Japanese, and I'm reading Little House in the Big Woods in Japanese at the rate of about 3 sentences a day.

I know that a lot of the story is about finding and storing food to last through the lean seasons, but so far in the first few pages, there just seems to be an awful lot of animal deaths and butchering.

I could just skim the English version to find out where the non-hunting, non-meat parts of the story are, but I'm trying to really gauge my Japanese reading comprehension, so I'd prefer to avoid previewing the story and the vocabulary if I can.

Can you tell me which parts I should skip if I want my Japanese study to include fewer dead animals?

Something like this would be perfect:

"The last third of chapter 1 is okay; skip the first quarter of chapter 2 and all of chapters 3, 6, and 13; everything else is okay"

- or whatever.

Thank you!
posted by kristi to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've quickly skimmed through in English, chapter 4 through to the end doesn't have any more animal deaths in, although there's some references to hunting and not killing animals, and some corporal punishment of children in the rest of the book. (Hunting season appears to be autumn, and the book runs through a year from October-ish through to September-ish)
posted by plonkee at 9:27 AM on August 27, 2019

There are also a couple of sections in the book where Pa tells the girls a story, which in the English version I have starts with a title, like a short story within the story. The two I can think of are skippable for your filters.

Farmer Boy, which I prefer, has a chapter called Butchering that contains all of that, although there is quite a bit of farm animal husbandry and meat being served elsewhere.
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2019

Response by poster: Note: I do have a list of the chapter titles in English, so if you want to tell me to skip "Two Big Bears" or "The Long Rifle," that's fine.

Thanks very much for the answers so far!
posted by kristi at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2019

Best answer: Two Big Bears doesn't have any animal killing in, just encounters. The Long Rifle definitely does. A calf is killed 'offstage' in Summertime so that they can make cheese.

Really the opening chapters make it feel like there's going to be a lot of hunting and butchering, but that's not the case. From Ch4 onwards it's about other aspects of life in Wisconsin, and while there are animal encounters they just have the function of reminding you that the country they're living in is wild rather than domesticated.
posted by plonkee at 2:59 PM on August 27, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks to both of you!

plonkee, that's very helpful. I've started on chapter 4, and I'll just keep going from there.

Many thanks!
posted by kristi at 9:09 PM on August 28, 2019

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