Asturias Days

The Piggies’ Tale

By Clellan Coe | January 1, 2020
John K Thorne/Flickr
John K Thorne/Flickr

In a fenced field on a high bluff between the Carretera de la Providencia and the ocean, on ground just beginning a gentle slope toward the water and the last plunge into the waves, 10 piglets roamed this fall. They were in a pile in a far corner, sleeping, when I first spotted them, and I called until a couple of them roused themselves. From the tall grass under a nearby tree I gathered up apples and coaxed the animals over, pushing the runty apples through the wire mesh of the high fence into their waiting mouths. I had to stomp on the bigger apples to break them into pieces that would fit. Some pieces got stuck, and the piggies plucked these from the fence, bracing their hooves against the mesh to tug at the ones that were tightly wedged. They chewed noisily, but when raising their snouts and reaching for more, they were surprisingly delicate.

They were about as long as my forearm at first, and they emitted little groans, like a kitten mewing, but as they grew, so did their voices, and soon they became quite clamorous, grunting and squealing as they came galloping across the field when I visited. Their ears flopped as they ran, and once at the fence, they showed me their small white teeth. One day, instead of 10, there were five. Oh dear, I thought, but five were better than none. Their noses were wide and wet, their eyes small and searching, their tails adorably twisted.

Passing by the field a few weeks ago, apples in hand, I saw, instead of the piglets, grazing horses, their tails long and swooshing. Poor piggies. Long forgotten by most of those who, when walking by, had glanced their way, seen them scurrying, heard them snuffling hungrily, greedily, their searching, hopeful eyes peering from behind flopping ears. Though not forgotten, perhaps, by the farmer with his wad of bills, or the patron of the butcher shop, recalling his Christmas dinner.

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