The time arrived for killing the pig.... the blaze flinging a cheerful shine into the room; though for him the sense of cheerfulness was lessened by thoughts on the reason of that blaze - to heat water to scald the bristles from the body of an animal that as yet lived, and whose voice could be continually heard from a corner of the garden....
"Then we must put it off..."
"Can't be put off. There's no more victuals for the pig. He ate the last mixing o' barleymeal yesterday morning."
"Yesterday morning? What has he lived on since?"
"What - he has been starving?"
"Yes. We always do it the last day or two, to save bother with the innerds. What ignorance, not to know that!"
"That accounts for his crying so. Poor creature!"
"Well - you must do the sticking - there's no help for it. I'll show you how. Or I'll do it myself - I think I could. Though as it is such a big pig I had rather Challow had done it. However, this basket o' knives and things have been already sent on here, and we can use 'em."
By this time Arabella had joined her husband, and Jude, rope in hand, got into the sty, and noosed the affrighted animal, who, beginning with a squeak of surprise, rose to repeated cries of rage. Arabella opened the sty-door, and together they hoisted the victim on to the stool, legs upward, and while Jude held him Arabella bound him down, looping the cord over his legs to keep him from struggling.
The animal's note changed its quality. It was not now rage, but the cry of despair; long-drawn, slow and hopeless.
"Upon my soul I would sooner have gone without the pig than have had this to do!" said Jude. "A creature I have fed with my own hands."
"Don't be such a tender-hearted fool! There's the sticking-knife - the one with the point. Now whatever you do, don't stick un too deep."
"I'll stick him effectually, so as to make short work of it. That's the chief thing."
"You must not!" she cried, "The meat must be well bled, and to do that he must die slow. We shall lose a shilling a score if the meat is red and bloody! Just touch the vein, that's all. I was brought up to it, and I know. Every good butcher keeps un bleeding long. He ought to be eight or ten minutes dying, at the least."
Jude the Obscure : Thomas Hardy