Monday, November 26, 2012

Who's A Pig? A Modern Fable.

[Congratulations to Margaret Guiler for her third-place entry in our 2012 Creative Competition. Check back daily as we post other recognized entries.]

In the tranquil Koloa neighborhood life was perfect, a glorious and sweet bucolic expression of all being right with the world. A mix of nature with human and other animal habitation. The dogs and cats were on good behavior, not too much barking or yowling at night. The chickens and roosters procreated at a moderate pace and were within bounds with their crowing. The humans smiled with self satisfied pleasure as their gardens grew and their grass flourished.

“Yum, yum, yummy” she said as she looked through the hedge. Then she poked her snout all the way into the yard where she had left off work the night before. It was four a.m. And time to do a little digging. Actually she didn't say those words, but rather several loud but controlled snorts, as in “Snort, snort, snuffle”. But you get the picture.

In they came, Mama Pig and the seven smalls, not in a line but all helter skelter. Mama's discipline was a bit lacking when when she was on the hunt for food. This was the fourth night this week for this yard's treasure trove of worms and grubs, and she snuffled some more minor snorts and began to gouge ever more dirt from the lawn. What a pig's garden of grubbish delight. And she did share with those youngsters quick and strong enough to elbow their way in for a morsel or two.

But what was this sweet smell wafting on the pre-dawn air. “Could that be..... mango? Mixed with a little molasses?” Mama sniffed the air and followed her snout, and although it was pitchy dark, no moon, she could see a shape from whence the deliciousness came. “Oh my goddess, how do I get to that succulence?”

By this time the seven kids had kept up the rototilling of the formerly lovely and pristine lawn all on their own. What a pig sty mess, not a blade of grass lay undisturbed by the young and the hungry.

Hunger getting the best of whatever caution she felt, Mama charged right into the trap, and started to feast on the fruity delights therein. So good to lick up the molasses as you crunch the mango. Heaven on earth. Hog heaven. And Oh, gotta call the kids.

But, uh oh. The door of the trap came down and swatted her all the way into the cage. And it was then it came to her there was no free lunch. She whirled around to escape. Ah, Missy, not so fast. Couldn't budge. Snorting to the kids gave a clear warning so they didn't come close and instead headed south on a dead run.

Then she began to blow, loud and hard, with real anger mounting in fury and frustration. And she started to crash into the sides of the cage tusks ringing on the metal, feet tearing at the flooring beneath her. It was “built” that cage, so there was no give from hitting the sides with her 175 pound bulk.

Ah, but wait. A light from the house nearby came on. And out shuffled an angry scarecrowy looking thing with a peculiar, flappy appearance, tippy toeing with a flashlight and an air of menace. “Aha!” said the scarecrow in its own kind of snorting, and then, “Finally, I got you.”

Mama answered with a snort and a blow which meant, “Horrible being, selfish creature, I was only trying to feed my family, snuffle snuffle, sniff, snort.”

And the scarecrow said, “AARGH”, which meant “Go someplace else. I like nature that behaves and is respectful of my superior human presence. You can stay there until morning. Enjoy those mangoes, they'll be your last.” And with that, Scarecrow went back to the house, and the light went off.

And now in the yard, nothing but the silence of quiet desperation. And some heavy breathing as Mama considered her options. Although she didn't know what Kalua Pig was, she had a sense that things had taken a turn for the worse. One might say she offered a kind of prayer to the pig goddess to help her get out of this mess. She didn't approach being in the trap with a feeling of futility, but instead with a firm resolve: leave or... well, forget the “or”.

Renewed attempts to the sides and floor and top of the cage brought no reward, until she whirled her bulk around and attacked the lowered cage door. Clang, clang, clang went her tusks on the welded steel.

In the house the light went on, the Scarecrow came to the porch.

And with a mighty, Hail Mary shove the Mama Pig hooked her snout under the cage door and lifted it up so that her head and body could follow. She was out, she was free, she wouldn't be Kalua pig after all. She would live to hunt grubs, forage for avocados and mangoes, teaching her piglets the best places to hunt. Like right here! Snorting and blowing with continued fury, mixed with profound relief, she took off, high tailing it out, out and away, and eager to share more grub filled lawns with her babies ….and other friends and family.

So, if you humans have a pig problem, your yard is a ruined mess from pig rooting, your garden destroyed, just consider this: are you being piggish?

As we know, sharing is caring.

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