Raising a Wild Pig

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
This little piggy wasn't so little.

Submitted: November 01, 2016

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Submitted: November 01, 2016

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Henry’s done his share of pig rearing, once he bought twelve white landrace weaners to grown on to baconers. He was told that they had an extra rib which made them longer than the other pig breeds, but he wasn’t too sure about that because he never opened one up to see. But he was tempted to! His pen wasn’t all that secure and those little buggers enjoyed making a break for it and nine times out of ten they headed down the main road! He reckoned they were just doing it to annoy him, because if they were hungry they would’ve been rooting up his grass paddock or the road verge. But no, they trotted off down the middle of the road making the drivers angry at him! That’s is why he couldn’t get rid of his pigs quick enough! In the end, he didn’t make much money out of them!

Wally, Henry’s dog and pig hunting mate, was quite gentle when he caught a wild piglet and usually Henry would take them back to the forest HQ and give them to some of his workers. On two occasions a worker took the piglets to town and both escaped down the main street. Henry didn’t want to know anything about those antics! One afternoon he called at one fellow’s house with his wages, and his wife hushed him inside and there was old Hector, fast asleep in an armchair with a sleeping pig on his lap! Sometimes Henry took a young pig for the pot, after all he is a carnivore. Old Mrs. Matches, who owned the huts where he camped, would cook the piglet in chicken fat with pieces of pineapple pushed into the meat. The pair would make real pigs of themselves at a banquet for two!

One day Wally caught a nice, red, sow piglet and although there was no one else for miles around, he had a long conversation about the appropriateness of taking it home for the purposes of making bacon – well Wally nodded in the right places, so must have known what it was about. Of course the piglet would have to grow first and that meant feeding it up until it grew to a baconable size. The carnivores won most points in the conversation and good sense flew out the window!

Henry was well aware of the following points:

. A wild pig tends to be cleaner in its habits than landrace or domestic pigs. Indeed if a wild pig is introduced to a pen of domestic pigs, it will boss the others and teach them cleanliness.

. Any pig raised on household scraps will put on a lot of fat, not so much muscle, so household scraps are to be avoided.

. Pig nuts, pollard-based pig feed, is a better option to produce good meat and the fat tastes better than fat from household scraps.

Doris, Henry gave her a name, Doris settled in under Henry’s care very well. He was kind to her, even though he wasn’t about to make a pet of her, to him it was a simple matter of respect. She enjoyed the pig nuts and a good rub between her ears, and he hung a chain from the ceiling for her to rub against. He cut a hole in the wall so she could watch the cows out in the paddock, he didn’t want her to escape! Henry thought how miserable he would be in solitary confinement and didn’t want to expose Doris to it either. Wild pigs usually carry lice, big, fat buggers that always found their way into Henry’s clothes whenever he carried one out of the bush, but they don’t attack people so they never bit him or annoyed him. The treatment is waste oil, used engine oil, trickled from Doris’ snout to her tail so soon her coat became shiny, an indication that she was in good nick!

Henry had a mate who was a butcher and the requirement of the day was to have the pig killed and ‘dressed’ at the abattoir, then his butcher-mate would make the bacon from his own recipe in his butchery. All Henry had to do was to get Doris to the abattoir. He had his little Commer Cob (Stationwagon) and was sure of its capabilities!

Obviously he wasn’t going to allow Doris have freedom in the back of the Stationwagon, so he built a crate of wooden slats in the back of the vehicle to house her for the trip. To get her into the crate, he built a temporary race, so it was just a matter of driving her up with the help of a few pig nuts to entice her. All went smooth as silk, except that Doris was a little large for the crate making the sides and top bulge a bit. Confident Henry, thought it would be alright because once moving along the road he expected Doris to become interested in the scenery!  

Anyone who is cultured, will have in their formative years, read Superman comics and there is a classic image of him bursting out of chains! Such strength! Well not yet half way to town, Doris did a Superman, and burst out of her crate! She must have puffed herself up with air, or maybe sneezed and the wooden slats pinged apart like toothpicks! Henry remembered his leg! While hunting down and old sow, she had bitten his calf making it black and blue for a month and he spent that month limping around like Long John Silver without his crutch! So he didn’t particularly want to have Doris’ mouth wrapped around any of his extremities!

Doris on the other hand thought her exit from confinement was via the windscreen! Henry could see her intent through the rear vision mirror! While attempting to dive in a straight line with one hand, he tried to push her back with the other! He didn’t like the feel of that wet, slightly snotty snout but pushing it backwards gave him the most traction! But it was hard work! He managed to hold her back until they reached the town boundary, but he decided that the distraction could be dangerous while negotiating his way through the townie drivers!

She decided to make a break for it and her front half joined Henry in the front, pushing his face against the side window! Unfortunately Doris became wedged between the bucket seats and she began wriggling like a stranded whale! Confined as he was, Henry managed to pull off his jersey and wrapped it around Doris’ head and he knotted it across her eyes. Blind, she quickly settled down. Un-wedging her took some effort because bruised meat is cut off the carcass and lost, so Henry wanted to be as gentle as possible. He put his shoulder under her neck, oh yes he was cheek to cheek with a pig, and lifted as he pushed with his legs! Like a cork, she popped back!  With her eyes covered, Doris just stood there like a ninny for the rest of the trip.

Unloading Doris was a bit of a trick because she was too bulky to turn around in the back of the wagon, luckily for Henry there was a guy at the abattoir yard to give him a hand. They each grabbed a hind leg each and pulled until her feet could touch the ground, before releasing her, Henry retrieved his jersey and that was the end of Doris! But from that day he reckoned his jersey always stank of her!

Henry didn’t fry piddly little rashes of bacon, he fried slabs of bacon! 


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