• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 04

The Dancing Pig

The Pig was an odd specimen. It danced the jive, and the tango, and the samba. It played the violin, and read Homer and Milton. It sung a barnstorming power ballad. It watched the stars and dared to ask what was up there. They gave it a phone, and a Twitter account. PIG SEEKING A DANCE PARTNER. The tweet went viral, but nobody came forward.

They kept it under wraps, of course. Wouldn’t be decent, to let it run around. A sty was constructed, like a luxury condo, with a home cinema, and a gym, and five bathrooms. They kept it pampered, varnished its trotters, and glossed its lips. Hidden cameras were installed, to make sure it was content.

But a decision had to be made. A conference was held, with lots of men in suits. One from the government, and one from the market. There were scientists and veterinarians. The man from the abattoir and the man from the television sat in silence, both waiting to say their inevitable piece.

What were they to do? Put it in a circus? Put it to work? Keep it in its sty? As they deliberated its fate, the Pig served up a five-course meal, and the executives left the meeting with full stomachs.

No decision was made. That night, the Vet who brought it into the world, and the Farmer who kept it, watched as the Pig danced a Charleston. It threw itself around, wild and gaudy, flinging its trotters and waving its snout.

“Look at it,” said the Vet. “Doesn’t seem to care that we’re watching.”

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said the Farmer.

“I think it’s horrifying.”


The Dancing Pig

The Vet leered on. If the Pig cared, there was nothing it could do. So, it thrashed and squealed, unruly and uncaring. The conference would resume tomorrow. In the meantime, the Pig would be blissfully, violently alive.

“They’ll kill it, in the end,” said the Farmer, as if that were simply the way of the world.

“They will,” the Vet acknowledged.

“And we gave it a telephone.”

The Vet couldn’t begrudge it that. All it wanted was someone to dance with, in the vain and necessary hope that they might escape the slaughterhouse.

“Isn’t that all any of us want? Someone to join us in the carnival.”

In the end, the Pig was a delicious specimen. It made for a plump string of sausages, and a succulent pork belly, and the ribs were to die for. They even took it for scratchings. That was the way of the world, after all. The man from the government ate it, and the man from the market, and the man from the television.

The Vet couldn’t stomach it, not after he found the Pig’s phone. Messages had been exchanged, with a pot-bellied sow, who wanted to dance. The jive, the tango, the samba. Then there were words typed but never sent: