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No Talking to the Food


…says Harry as I coo at the new piglets.

I think he’s trying to ward off any tendency that might lead to naming them and eventually to bringing them inside at night to sleep with us and the dogs.

The reason I find myself cooing at pigs is because today we picked up our first four of these pink creatures with startlingly large ears. We got them from Toño (after much ado about price and quantity where we went from two to one to four). Four seems nice.


But picking up pigs becomes more complex when your car died the night before. The starter fried. Apparently Toño was clear about the time he wanted us to come, and 8:00 had already passed when we started down the hill on foot to find Mincho. Harry figured we could borrow Mincho’s car.

Harry has made some very good friends here.

Turns out Mincho is driving his wife to the clinic which is on the way to Toño’s, so we hop in and explain what we want. He makes a funny face, and then agrees to take us.

Collecting piglets for transfer consists of grabbing them by the back leg (just one is fine) and stuffing them into a sack. Then holding the sack closed tightly as they squeal and squirm and do every other thing that might start with s-q-u- (like squirt and, yes actually, squawk).

Toño had only provided two sacks, Harry insists on four. I can’t imagine those creatures two to a sack. In hindsight, they might have been better disabled for they used their snouts to good effect breaking through the weave.

I hold them them tight from the back seat as Harry goes to get their food. He holds them tight in the back seat as I go to get the receipt. I return to the unmistakable smell of pig shit. (The reason for Mincho’s sour face earlier.) I am mortified – both by what we’ve done to his car and the prospect of living with that smell – and insist we must clean his car for him. Mincho and Harry seem less phased.

Up the crazy broken road (I’m impressed with Mincho’s driving) to deliver them to their new home, El Palacio Porcino.


… Although it’s not finished. Mincho comments. Harry is a bit put off. I think it’s funny. Harry will solve it somehow, I’m sure. I’m learning to let Harry manage his projects his way. He always works things out and it’s so interesting to see how he does it.


Although the whole place is quite huge and could hold ten pigs easily, Harry quickly fashions a smaller stall. Which is important because he’s nailed the sacks with the piglets to the wall to hold them while he works.

Meanwhile, Mincho and I go down to get the car and deliver it to his place. He’s able to jump start it backwards, going down our crazy road which impresses me further.


Back at home, b-line to El Palacio Porcino, and everyone is hanging out there, a little bit startled by the change – by the sounds, the creatures, the smell. The dogs are super cool, and just look at them. We all do. Just look at them. They are new to all of us.


Later in the day they get out of their pen and as Harry and I attempt to catch them, Mariposa shows another of her marvellous talents and herds them expertly back into their pen. I mean she just does it. She watched us flail our arms for a minute or two, figured out what we were up to, and stepped in and did it for us super efficiently in mere moments. Bites to the back and all. They literally climbed the wall to get back in. It was awesome. We showered her with praise the whole night through. Our princess has skillz.


But getting back to the new rule “no talking to the food”, I agree it’s best and will restrict myself to merely talking endlessly to the dogs.


Originally published August 18, 2012

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