Friday, October 14, 2016

Remembering My Piggy (我的小猪)

Unlike others modern kids who are having expensive dogs and cats as pets, my first pet during my childhood was a piggy which I called ‘Hero’.

Of course, my Hero was not bought as it was just one of many piglets given birth by my grandpa’s big old sow.

Pigs were just one of the farm animals meant for their meat. In old time, especially in rural areas such as in a rubber plantation; pigs were not kept in cages and they were free to roam about and fed themselves with weeds, water lettuce, water hyacinth and rotten fruits etc. Of course, my grandma would occasionally feed these pigs with leftover vegetables and rice. Strangely speaking, those pigs never got lost. Although they wandered about in the rubber plantation, they would return home before sun set provided that no ‘mishaps’ happened to these pigs so said.

Maybe now you have guessed it, Hero was not actually meant for pet as it was just my temporary companion given by my grandpa to keep me company in the lonely rubber plantation. I could faintly remember that once I demanded my grandpa to give me a doggy as pet but the old bitch was not about to give birth and grandpa just grabbed one of the piglets playing nearby and tugged it to me. So begun my friendship with Hero.

I liked Hero as it has the character of a dog and it was very cute and cuddly. Before you want to start commenting, just give me a brake; I was only about 5 years old then.

Having said so, my relationship with Hero only lasts for a few weeks until…

One morning after breakfast, I let Hero to go out to play with other piglets while I watched my grandparents preparing rubber sheets from latex. Suddenly, I heard a series of oinks came from a bush opposite to where I was sitting, so I ventured to investigate.

Wow! It was a large python coiling about my Hero and I was stunned for a short while and then burst into tears and cried as loud as I could.

On hearing the commotion, my grandpa immediately stopped work and brought a baton to the rescue.

At first grandpa used the baton to poke the python’s eyes to force it to loosen its grip on Hero but it got agitated and opened its mouth and produce sort of roaring sound. Just as when the python was about to bite the baton, my grandpa swiftly swung the baton in his hands as if swinging a golf stick and struck the python’s head. At this point, the python’s head dropped onto the ground and it loosened its grip on Hero. My grandpa then gave the python’s head a few strikes to make sure the python is really dead.

After killing the python, its carcase was dumped into a river as a dead python will produce excessive foul odour that can last for days.

When we all started to divert our attention to Hero. It was lying lifelessly on the ground and barely breaths. Grandpa inspected Hero for a while and then ‘pronounced’ it dead.

As I was crying out loud beside my beloved Hero, grandpa picked up Hero and told grandma: “Since this dead piglet is still warm, please boil some water quickly and I shall slaughter it and we shall have it for lunch…”

I could remember that at that time, I was half coaxed and half pulled into the house to watch my grandpa chopping Hero and cooking it while my cry turned from loud to soft and eventually stopped. Though I was a little sad, I had my fair share of Hero’s meat and did enjoyed it… From then on, Hero was officially wiped off from my memory. Strangely as it might be, I didn’t think of picking a new piglet to replace Hero; not ever.

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