April 2018

Monday, April 5, 2010

DAR #23: This Little Piggy...

DAR #23: Generally in the US, my interactions with pigs have been with a knife and fork. For Easter dinner yesterday, as with many Easters, we had tasty ham. Where do pigs picture in the resurrection story? Not so high, I think.

Growing up in NC, I loved NC barbeque: pulled pork in a vinegar sauce. Whenever I visited my grandmother in  a small town in Eastern Carolina, she took me to "The Grill" for a barbeque sandwich, hold the cold slaw, and a chocolate milk shake. This was what my grandmother would call "a good eat."

A couple of times I remember getting closer to the piglike qualities of pork with a pig roast: once at the medieval fair in the 8th grade and again at a fraternity pig roast (no. I was not in a fraternity. I just liked pig.) The whole apple in the pig's mouth seemed a bit grotesque to me.

In Latin America I had more interaction with the squealing kind of pig. When I first arrived in the jungled foothills of the Michoacan mountains in the small town of Camelote, (Mexico) for one summer, my three comrades and I were given directions to the sewing school where we would stay: "Take the main road to the corner where there's a pig and turn left, then right. The sewing school will be on your right." These are common directions in this small town, and I was afraid we might miss the pig, but there was no chance. This pig was as big as two kegs. Big Pig. We had pigs in the yard behind the school, but I never went there. I think Juan was the only one to go there, to bury Alex's soiled silken briefs--an unpleasant story.

One morning I was walking back from Seniora Alisa Lopez's home (she was teaching me to cook: my tortillas were thick and not round, but I understood the bean recipes--one slab of lard for whole beans, two for refried beans); as I was walking down the dirt road, I heard a racket ahead of me. That two-keg sized pig was flying across the road, chased by a dog. The pig hurdled the fence, and the do-- which could not--stood outside barking. That pig could fly. A few weeks later, I awoke to an awful squealing that went on all morning. Everyone in that little town had pork for a month.

When Ann and I visited our sister church in Guarjila, El Salvador at the century's turn, we heard a similar squealing one morning. When we had arrived, a young pig--perhaps even a piglet--was tied to a stake in the yard like one might tie up a dog. As the pig squealed for an hour or so, we worried that this family might be slaughtering its pig for us, but when we emerged the piglet was in the backyard, unfettered. When we asked why (remember that our Spanish is not too good, so this was a challenge), they laughed. The pig was new to them, and young pigs will return to their mothers, but if you run them around the house three times, they get confused and will stay at their new home. That must be where my parents got that idea and ran me around this Seattle home.



  1. Thanks for the memory-I always had a "good eat" at The Grill too.

  2. me, too!!
    there was a pig on the beach at turks and caicos (where we went to get engaged); it was so strange.
    the pigs in the bahamas (last year's vacation) swim!!
    my goddaughter georgia was dying to get a pet pig but tracey asked george clooney (who once had a pet pig) about it and he said that they make horrible pets.
    i'm glad she didn't get one because i love bacon.

  3. I missed the memo about your move to the WWW, and I'm so glad you are blogging. Caringbridge was great, but your talent is worthy of the entire great wide internets. kathyb


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