I was in a taxi.
Traffic was a little slow. I didn’t mind because this part of town has a clear-aired serenity. Unlike the hot, bustling, narrow highway between Westfield and my usual stop.
We were just past the place with the trees, the place where young flowers peeped from plastic seedling bags, white clay swans dotted the shade and graceful flower pots stood in rows by the roadside, competing for attention. It makes you wonder if they speak to each other. One round clay pot would whisper to another “oh, the clay swans are so snobbish! Just because they can see farther!”
The other clay pot would respond “Well they may be tall and slender, but that only means they break easier. Besides, I like my build”
And the oblivious clay swans would wonder what they had done to draw such scornful glowering from the clay pots.
I’ve always envied the man who sits under the shade of the trees and tends the flowers. I like to think that he is very happy and content, even when he doesn’t sell any pots or flowers. What joy it must be, to nurture new life and send it out into world (more like into a stranger’s front yard but still… it’s something) and to get one’s hands dirty molding cool clay into pots and basins. To paint them red or white. To decide which pots to paint white and which to paint orange… or red… or brown.
But, this story is not about flowers or cool shade or swans. I get carried away. This is a story about a pig who dreamed.
So, the taxi went past and now instead of trees, the roadside had tall grasses and was swampy. Patches of mud which had no grass growing on them had whitish crusts of salt forming patterns on the surface. If you looked closely you’d see how they caught the sunlight and glittered.
I was thinking about this when I heard a low rumbling grunt ahead and looked just in time a see a chubby (not that I’ve ever seen a skinny one), dirt-brown pig stepping onto the road. It ran along, in quick, motivated strides! It was a sight to behold. Call me crazy but what I saw on that pig’s face was a look of gleeful determination! I’ve always thought there’s more to animals than they’ve had us believe.
A man, probably the pig’s owner, stood amongst the grass holding the little gate of what appeared to be a crude little enclosure made of roughly hewn sticks. He just stood there hurling insults at the runaway pig, calling for it to comeback as if calling to a naughty child. This pig who had seemingly attained long coveted freedom was stopping for no man, not even for this red-eyed, angry-looking fella who had blobs of spittle flying out of his mouth as he cursed in frustration.
I inwardly cheered for this brave, idealistic pig as I sat in-front of the taxi, pretending to be a normal person going to work and a little burst of laughter escaped me. The others in the car didn’t seem to have seen any of the drama at all. How could they not?! It was beautiful!
Now, I’d very much like to think that the pig made a successful escape, found a loving partner, started a lovely family and is living his happily-ever-after. And that many years later when he is old and grey, when all the day’s work has been done and his little grandpiglets had had their supper, he’d gather them in a circle on the living room floor and tell them of the evening when he’d escaped from his mean owner Mr. Redeye Flyspittle Trera and flew out into the world.
But, I very much doubt the brave pig went very far so I’ll try not to think about it too much. Happy thoughts it shall be!
… if only some of us were as brave. After all, we stand a better chance than the pig.🙂