… was cutting up a bullock.
Every blow of the cleaver, every heave of the shoulders, every step of the feet,
every ‘sluice’ of rent flesh, every ‘clunk’ of the cleaver on chopping board was in harmony,
rhythmical like the Flamenco’s dance to an acapella of plucked chords.
“Bravo!” cried the King, and clapped his hands missing the beat
and bringing his cook to an abrupt halt.
“A rare skill,” continued the King beaming…
“It is more than skill,” replied the King’s Cook, “I work with mind not eye,
I follow the openings and cavities according to the constitution of the animal and
never slice through joint or bone. A good cook changes his cleaver once a year
because he cuts. An ordinary cook once a month because he hacks. I have
had my cleaver for nineteen years and its edge is fresh as if from a whetstone.
Even, so when my blade meets with resistance I am all caution. I stay my hand
and gently apply the blade until with a ‘huwah’ the part yields like earth crumbling to ground…”
“Bravo!” cried the King again, “From the mouth of this cook
I have learned how to conduct my life.”