27 November 2020

Pigs

Another walk in the Nottinghamshire countryside. For reasons of personal preservation, I will not say exactly where I was. However, I will say that on this four and a half hour ramble I came across a thousand pigs.

They were housed in five large, muddy compounds with metal sheds for sleeping quarters. There were also huge hoppers filled with pig pellets and a constant supply of piped drinking water. Close to the sheds, there were stacks of hay and straw bales that would no doubt be used for fresh bedding.

When I lumbered up the  grassy slopes of the pig field, I looked over the perimeter fence into the first compound. The pigs within all ran away in a panic as if they had just seen Frankenstein's Monster. But it wasn't long before their curiosity got the better of them and they crowded near the fence to get a better look at me. It's very possible that they were interested in eating me. Anything for a change from pig pellets.

They were young pigs and they squealed a lot. There was nobody governing them. They just did their own thing.

The pigs made me laugh and then they made me sing. There I was singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" and I swear they were entranced. The squealing ceased as they listened and huddled round, pushing and shoving to get the best view of me that they could. Their eyes were beady. Their ears like silk purses and their skin all bristly. Many were mucky because of the mud in their compound. There was nowhere for them to take hot showers.

It was a low fence that only came up to my midriff. The panels were movable - just hooked together. To separate them all you would need to do would be to lift one panel with a bit of muscle power.

What was I thinking of? I had not planned it. It all happened on a whim, instinctively and I am not saying that I am proud of what I did. I just did it and that's that. There was no one else around - just me and the pigs.

It took me no more than twenty seconds to separate two of the panels and effectively I had created a gateway or an exit for the pigs.  A handful decided to remain in the compound but most of the pigs burst through the opening like escaped convicts and they were off. Free at last!

Some headed down to the little river that meandered through reeds at the bottom of the fields and some ran into the neighbouring woodland, their trotters thundering through the autumn leaves and brambly undergrowth. They had no idea where they were going but their joy was palpable.

I thought better of  opening the other four compounds because I was quite fearful that my key part in this great escape might at any moment be  recognised. I consoled myself in the belief that they would probably go back home at sundown - if indeed they could find their way home. What did that children's tickling rhyme say? Wee-wee-wee all the way home. Yes that's it.

I continued along a farm track through autumn stubble and in the distance I saw a posse of pigs heading east - still galloping along with their little curly tails pointing like corkscrews at the sky above.

Sometimes we do things without thinking or considering the possible consequences of our actions. I sincerely hope that none of the pigs have been killed on the roads in that locality and I further hope that in the next twenty four hours I don't hear cops knocking on our door. I find some relief in the realisation that it would be exceedingly difficult for them to track me down. However, I find much more relief in the imagined picture of half a dozen liberated pigs settling down to sleep tonight in a forest clearing after filling their bellies with acorns and beech nuts.

Who knows what adventures they may have tomorrow?


Okay. I know. "Honesty is the best policy". It was all indeed just a delicious pork-flavoured lie.

56 comments:

  1. You have made my Covid Winter, Yorky.
    Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw your photo: It might have been in The National Geographic. *Pigs Talk Turkey During Thanksgiving.* Such professional camera work!

    So the pigs were silent as you sang O Come All Ye Faithful? I shall never be able to hear that carol again without thinking about it. Eat your heart out Jose Carreras!

    I have been reading Ideal Homes Complete Guide to Christmas. As a Boxing Day snack I fancy their French garlic Brussel sprouts together with their Cheddar Cheese, Parma ham and cranberry sauce toasties: A weird combo, but that's just me.

    Now I can't stop thinking about pork with apple sauce, which always reminds me of the famous essay about roast pork by Charles (er) Lamb.

    Now I feel conflicted because I am starting to think that we don't have the right to kill animals and eat them. Not when there are good protein alternatives.
    And your pigs look so, well ... human.

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    1. P.S. My Uncle George was 100 last April and lives in a Devonshire beside his daughter and grandsons. He was a sergeant-major in WWII, looking after the pack mules at the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. He never fired a gun.

      Though George still eats meat he agrees that there is an ethical reason for not eating animals.
      When he ran a smallholding in Stirlingshire he told me that pigs were very clean in their habits. *If there is dirt in one end of the compound they always go to the clean side,* he said. *The only reason pigs roll in the mud is because their bodies can't cool down easily as ours can.*

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    2. As they huddled there in silence listening to the carol I felt the same power that Jim Reeves must have felt as audiences fell under his spell..."Oh come let us adore him". Sounds like Uncle George had a hell of a life... and Roy Orbison has still not sung "It's Over".

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    3. George met the girl he married in Livorno in 1944 and they had five children.
      He was a great man for the horses, had his own stud; horse mad.
      He always had dogs, Alsatians, and bred them because he said they were smart and made the best guard dogs. There were love bird and canaries in his house.

      He likes Country and Western and Jim Reeves and Mr Orbiston. When he and my Italian aunt managed the Italian Consulate in Park Circus (no longer there) there was an official visit from the great tenor Gigli. I have the photo.

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    4. I believe you and I further believe that there would have been a lot of giggling when Gigli walked in the room.

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    5. George's young brother Jack (now deceased) had a superb lyric tenor voice, untrained; and Jack idolised Gigli, Pavarotti, and Fritz Wunderlich.
      Jack sang all the Rossini arias in Italian.

      Jack refused to hear any merit in the popular singers of his time, the 1950s.
      *Sinatra is a gangster,* he would say, and then he'd do a brilliant imitation of Sinatra singing *I couldn't sleep a wink last night,* pure piss taking.

      When I tried to defend my own favourites Jack would say, *Tony Bennett can't sing for toffee, Ella Fitzgerald is just a nightclub singer.*
      George would say laconically, *Jack talks a lot of rubbish ... Tony Bennett is terrific.*

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  2. Well, you saved yourself quite a lecture in the end. Pigs can kill you. And eat you with relish. But you would have died of the smell and saved yourself great discomfort.

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    1. Which relish do they prefer with human flesh Joanne? Apple?

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  3. There's at least one who isn't looking at you!

    I stopped eating pork when I heard that a pig has the cognitive abilities of a three year old. They really are kinda cute! Cute-ish!

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    1. Yorky's automobile Clint has the cognitive abilities of a one hundred and three year old, but Clint's taking him to Glasgow to meet me, with Tasker in tow.

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    2. I wish I could join you!

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    3. We could eat like pigs and grunt nonsense together.

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    4. Kylie, you can join us any time. A meet-up in The Rogano, Exchange Place, Glasgow. It is an Art Deco joint straight out of a Joan Crawford movie, and has an oversized Art Deco lobster hanging above the door. See it online.
      I shall stand you a glass of cha cha cha Champagne.

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  4. I like pigs. Years ago a pig got loose and escaped the abattoir in Red Deer. The pig was on the loose for five months before they captured him. He was named Francis.

    If pigs are smart and taste so good, would humans taste even better? Well the smart ones, anyway.

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    1. It is rumoured that Francis was sheltered by Red and his wife Jean on Spencer Street. He may have slept in their garage.

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    2. We all like pigs, Lilycedar. But are we doing anything for them?
      When was the last time you heard someone saying, *I have dedicated my life to the preservation of pigs.*
      Maybe the wee Wiccan lassies are into pig liberation. And eating Nut Cutlets.

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  5. He didn't! Surely not! I was doubtful, rightfully so.

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    Replies
    1. He wanted to! He would have! But there are laws, regretfully so.

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  6. Along with the piped water there should be piped music. These little pigs deserve some music in their day. However with all the squealing and snorting, music might be wasted on their silken ears..
    Alphie

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    1. They also need to wear woolly jumpers and trews to keep warm and hide their nether parts.

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  7. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can only eat meat (and I really like bacon) because I disassociate mentally from where it comes from. If I had to procure all animal procude myself (including dairy products), I'd have gone completely vegan decades ago. Claiming that I love animals (which I do) and yet eating them and their products (which I also do) is a huge contradiction and hypocrisy. I am aware of that.

    My brother-in-law in Yorkshire has a dairy farm with his brothers, 500 cows who on most days have the choice between staying inside the stables or being out on the pastures. Paul says they like the comfort of the thick rubber mats and straw, and listening to classical music.

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    1. animal procude? Blame my typing errors on the early hour, I have not been up long.

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    2. Animal procude? I thought it was a synonym for excretia. I wonder which composers Paul's cattle prefer. Do they like Sibelius?

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  8. I sooo wanted this to be true...

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    1. I was tempted Mary but my conscience screamed out "No way Jose!"

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  9. So did I, they are quite clever and are supposed to be more genetically like us of course. At least the pigs you didn't let out live in a free range sort of way. There was another two pigs that escaped the abattoir years ago and ended up in a sanctuary, wonder if they are still about?

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    1. Yes. They are still about Thelma. In fact one of them is The Prime Minister.

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  10. You had me worried for a while there YP.

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    1. I doubt that the pigs would have swum out to The Isle of Man - invading like Vikings of yore.

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    2. Pigs can run up walls and they shit themselves when the slaughterman arrives with his butcher's knife.

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  11. I am,alas, such a city girl that I actually believed this tale. Ha!You are quite the teller of tales.

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    1. So pleased I fooled you Terry. Isn't that what all writers of fiction do?

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  12. I realised it was a lie when they didn't follow you back to the car like the pied porker of Hamelin and pile into the front seat, the back seats, the driving seat, the boot, on the roof, dangling from the door handles and drive off with Clint to distant freedom leaving you stranded at the roadside with nothing to eat but piped drinking water and pig pellets, and a metal shed for shelter.

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    1. Trust you to spoil a good fantasy Tasker! Good job they didn't let you loose on the tales of Cinderella or indeed The Three Little Pigs!

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    2. Tasker, you forgot the part about 'whee whee whee' all the way home!

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    3. I can take whee whee and even *he was shiteing himself* but I draw the line at puke. I see enough puke on the streets. Drunks who can't hold their drink.

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  13. You swine. Scales have fallen off my eyes. I am too trusting - that's the long, short and medium of it. You strung me along in open mouthed awe. "YP, of all people? Surely not. Next pigs will fly", I told myself. Then I remembered that none of us is immune to suffering the odd psychotic episode, acting out of character. Rarely has an anti-climax (your last line) come as such a relief. Not that I don't wish those pigs all the roaming they desire.

    U

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    1. I am not just a swine Ursula, I am a dirty swine. I love the expression "as happy as pigs in muck". It could, for example, effectively describe the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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    2. I had a mate who was a Marxist Leninist. He said the aristocracy would have to feed the pigs on the estates they owned, once those estates were nationalised.

      His contempt was reserved for bourgeois reactionaries like myself.
      *Because you have betrayed the working class from which you sprang, I will have to sign your death warrant,* he would say. *It will give me no pleasure.*

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    3. I hope he invested his money wisely in the stock market.

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    4. He drank himself to death, poor lad.
      My Dad used that expression about an alcy. *Poor Lad.*

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  14. I so wanted this story to be true but I knew all along that there was no way in hell you'd break the law like that.. Sigh.

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    1. Sorry it was just a fantasy Jennifer.

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  15. As I was reading this, I thought "HOGWASH!"

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    1. Is a hogwash where dirty pigs go to get spruced up? Rather like a CARWASH?

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    2. How about Pigwash?
      As in, *Hamel(d) you are talking a lot of Pigwash. Your friend Ursula.*

      I dislike it when people say, I don't give a s***.
      I heard Lord Sugar say it on The Apprentice. It is ugly.
      I teach the young to say, *I don't give twopence ha'penny.*
      The young are fascinated to hear about old money and that twopence is pronounced tuppence.

      In my father's era £1 was often referred to as a dollar. Two Bob in my era was two shillings. The Florin had ceased to exist. But you'd see an item of clothing priced 21 Guineas.

      But let's get back to Pig's Trotters, which Len Deighton used to serve as a starter. My mother liked Pig's Cheeks. In an African restaurant in Glasgow Cross (Argyle Street) they serve Pig's Head.

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  16. I approach with great skepticism most of what you say, so after just a few lines I knew it was fiction. Very good fiction, and very skillfully told, but fiction nonetheless.

    You took me back to my childhood in Texas because one of our neighbors raised OIC (Ohio Improved Chester) hogs, also known as Chester Whites. The swine you photographed look very similar. Our other neighbor raised Hereford cattle (reddish-brown bodies and white faces), but that is a topic for another day.

    Someone’s Uncle George upthread had it exactly right. Pigs are clean animals, much cleaner than chickens (for example) and the get in mud to cool off since they do not have sweat glands as humans do.

    By the way, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but you may be able to make a 50% cotton, 50% polyester one.

    Wee, wee, wee indeed. Good show.

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    1. You are like the Sherlock Holmes of the blogging world Bob. To mix metaphors, you sniffed out the aroma of fiction like a faithful truffle hound in the wooded French hills once ruled over by the noble de Brague family. I wonder what happened to them.

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  17. I'm glad you 'fessed up there at the end. I was going to call you on it. LOL!

    I have the same impulse, though, whenever I see pictures of pigs in a pen (or chickens in an industrial farm). I want to set them free! And then I turn around and eat a chicken for dinner. I'm not without contradictions.

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    1. None of us are Steve. It's so hard to be absolutely consistent.

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  18. Do you recall the Tamworth Two, two pigs that escaped in Wiltshire on the way to the abbatoir? They stayed on the run for some time before being 'rescued' and rehoused on a farm in Kent.

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    1. Those two pigs should be honoured for generations to come.
      I mean How So Very Dare They? They just wanted freedom !
      Time for a book called: *The Tamworth Two: What We Can Learn From Pigs*.

      Someone needs to satirise the likes of David Icke and Brian Gerrish, a couple of Fruit Loops. Gerrish called Gordon Brown *evil* on his vlog.
      Icke talks as if he invented quantum physics, and it is somehow related to the Royal Family as shape-shifting lizards.
      Every day some fresh madness emerges thanks to social media.

      Ye gods and goddesses, we can surely learn from our porcine friends whose tender flesh will go into our Xmas chippolata sausages.
      I never touch them myself, though I am a divil for chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce.

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    2. Yes I remember The Tamworth Two Sue. What heroic pigs they were!

      And John - it's hard to believe that you don't touch sausages.

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  19. My father had a brother who owned two butcher shops. After the war he told my father, *If you knew what went into a sausage you wouldn't eat one.*

    From a quality butcher they are probably OK. The flat Lorne sausage on toast is good. There is an independent butcher in Byres Road, the last of its kind. Their Lorne sausages have real flavour. HP Sauce is the best garnish.

    Try grilling low-fat sausages. It is scary how much fat comes off. I am as thin as a rake, but it still scares me. So I collect the fat in tinfoil and bin it.

    The Chippolata sausages, wrapped in bacon, and served with the turkey, are just too much of a plateful. Turkey on its own with chestnut stuffing is quite enough surely.

    Turkey is a heavy bird and roasts unevenly. Some chefs take the bird apart, roast the dismembered pieces, and then reassemble it. A large organic chicken is just as succulent and a lot easier to roast.

    I always liked A Christmas Carol by Dickens and I have had goose on Xmas Day. Cold goose leftover, with gooseberry sauce, is ideal on Boxing Day. With Claret or Port.

    Did you see Patrick Stewart as Scrooge? When he sees the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come he says, *Ahhh! you are the one I fear most of all!*

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    ReplyDelete
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    I’ve been Feeling weak and always feeling sleepy for some time which I went for a test and I was told i am diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Disease (ALS DISEASE) ever since then I've followed a wide variety of medical treatments, I have even combined with different pills and antibiotics without clear results. My health was deteriorating more and more. But thanks to a Herbal Doctor's herbs method that I found on the internet which has saved so many lives and also helped me to achieve the results i wanted, i knew from the beginning that this could help me after much learning and the cure Dr sent to me and which I began to follow the method from the Herbal Doctor called (Dr Aziba) and the results were wonderful: I recommend you to get in contact with him via Email: priestazibasolutioncenter@gmail.com and on WhatsApp: +2348100368288 for ALS, HPV, HSV, HERPES, Virginal Infection Cure etc.. DR is also available to help!





    I’ve been Feeling weak and always feeling sleepy for some time which I went for a test and I was told i am diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Disease (ALS DISEASE) ever since then I've followed a wide variety of medical treatments, I have even combined with different pills and antibiotics without clear results. My health was deteriorating more and more. But thanks to a Herbal Doctor's herbs method that I found on the internet which has saved so many lives and also helped me to achieve the results i wanted, i knew from the beginning that this could help me after much learning and the cure Dr sent to me and which I began to follow the method from the Herbal Doctor called (Dr Aziba) and the results were wonderful: I recommend you to get in contact with him via Email: priestazibasolutioncenter@gmail.com and on WhatsApp: +2348100368288 for ALS, HPV, HSV, HERPES, Virginal Infection Cure etc.. DR is also available to help!

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