Sunday, 5 October 2014
Pigs is Equal
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said ‘Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us but pigs is equal,’ but there was one cold December night, it must have been in 1949, when I knew for certain that pigs have a will of their own and are definitely superior, you cannot drive a pig. We were sitting in the warm by a log fire toasting crumpets – they taste so much better when they are slightly smoked before they are buttered – when my mother looked up, ‘Is there someone at the door?’ she said and then shouted, ‘Boots on everyone, that damned pig, she’s out again!’ Outside the front door a large black and white saddle-back sow was happily grunting and digging up the lawn searching for slugs; from bitter experience we knew that left on her own the front garden would be a ploughed field by morning. Armed with walking sticks and an umbrella kept by the door three of us, arms spread wide formed a half circle round her and with a chorus of ‘Pig, pig, gidover,’ and other encouraging cries we slowly eased her back towards a hole in the hedge and the sty in the paddock next door, my mother clanking a bucket half full of pig nuts walking in front. The only light came from a handful of stars and a one wobbling torch, it was bitterly cold and once through the hedge the ground was very muddy, squelching at every step. Only a few steps further, ‘Pig, pig, gidover,’ we called more gently. My mother gave the bucket one more encouraging rattle and put it down just inside the sty. Susana was a big pig, she wasn’t going to be hurried. She stopped for one more snuffle and grunt, decided she wasn’t ready to give up her freedom and turned, the light of the torch caught the glint in her eye as she gather herself up and charged for freedom, running straight at me and that was the night that I shall always remember as the night I rode a pig – backwards. My ride was short lived for I lost my grip and my dignity and landed horizontal in the mud!