Pig on the loose

Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:39 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

I’m not a social media follower for my own reasons but from time-to-time someone will forward me something that not only sparks a curiosity but reaffirms the split-second dialogue among strangers that the medium delivers.

Take this one for example: Saturday 9:12 a.m. A photo is posted of a pig hightailing it out behind a row of sheds: Lonelle Selbo: “Runaway pig on County Road 8. (I’ve tried to knock around & no answer!)”

It’s one of those incidentals, those small fleeting moments that the medium is able to capture; fleeting moments that, when highlighted, draw attention to the universality of our existence. An ensuing string of messages follow: Angie: “Lola farms?” Lonelle: “I don’t know. Hope he gets back to the barn safely.”

A minute later its Chris’s turn: “Ours are all here”; James: “Chris A.??” Jake up next: “Think Frank Powers ”. We have conversation over a concern in common that is unfolding in real time.

A pig on the loose? I am wondering at this point whether the pig realized it had become a hot topic on social media. Someone squealed! Fit to be hog-tied, outed by the neighbours! I’m told that pigs can quickly become bored, maybe that was it. He was running faster than a greyhound. Maybe that’s the pig’s way of unwinding or weight loss or jogging meditation. Maybe yet someone mentioned the ‘m’ word: Market.

My thought-stream is launched: Fairy tales like The Pig Brothers; The Three Little Pigs; The Enchanted Pig. And while March 1, National Pig Day has been and gone I thought of the classic characters, Miss Piggy; Porky Pig; Petunia Pig, Piglet and so on. Then there was George Orwell’s novella Animal Farm published in the 1940’s: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others,” as Snowball the pig challenged the hog Napoleon for control of the farm after their leader Old Major passed away. The work describes in lore, the path to tyranny, a snide account of Leon Trotsky’s rule over Russia leading up to the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist era.

Pigs are foremost an intellectual and domesticated animal. The domesticated kind landed in the Americas onboard the ships of Cortez and Columbus. It was a practice to release pigs on islands to become a future food source for sailors. Among the barrier islands near the state of Georgia in the U.S. are a breed of feral pigs released in the 16th century that are the only breed descended from the Iberian type pigs of the Far East. The Ossabaw Island Hog is now being bred by artisanal farmers on the mainland.

Maybe the pig on the run was a pet: A retriever pig, a guide pig or a drug or wild mushroom sniffing hog? It is a fairly popular thing to adopt ‘micro pigs’, ‘mini pigs’ ‘pocket pigs’ and ‘tea cup pigs’ as pets. And that ain’t hog wash folks. Pigs are intelligent, curious and affectionate animals. A neighbour tells me they like to scavenge through your sofa and arm chair and love rooting through your cupboards just in case you’re considering adopting.

County Road 8; 9:38 a.m. its Jake again: “Got ahold of the owners.”

So now the social media friends group can go back to their Saturday morning business. But sometimes it’s hard to be held in suspense. Should I drive over there and help out? Ten minutes have passed and Jake is back: “that’s just Archie out for his walk lol we caught him.”

Whew! All is well again in Paradise. Lonelle Sebo: “Oh man, I love Archie! Joanne pipes in: “He was just going to market”.

So, contained within the media barrage of our everyday, through the complexities of a changing world, the truth of it is that the small moments and daily observations are what ground us, our life witnessing we share in common. It is about being on the lookout for one another. It is the foundation of a universal world.

p.s. Lonelle, I now love Archie too. Thank you for bringing him to us.

Comments (1)

  • May 22, 2017 at 11:29 pm Lonelle Selbo

    Thanks for reflecting upon and immortalizing this scene, Conrad. We felt exactly as you described: it was the neighbourly thing to do. I had a forum and a comprehensive audience and hoped that, were the tables turned, our neighbours would be looking out for our metaphorical livestock too. As newcomers to ‘The County’, we have been enveloped by a community that we so wished to become a part of and see it as our duty to care about the ongoings that occur within the confines of our breathtaking island. So glad to have made your column, along with the beloved and recently renowned Archie 🙂

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