The Hog and Sow still remembered their home in White Location but were thankfully unburdened with the knowledge of the man who owned them, the man who had no feelings for anything alive except himself. They never knew that they were destined to be slaughtered. All they knew was that the way to safe shelter overnight was up that hill, a destination they’d battled to reach for days.
They dared not use the road with the metal monsters that screeched at them. They had to use the forest path but different kinds of monsters lurked there lately, monsters that were shaded brown to black and walked upright, accompanied by furry, 4-legged demons with teeth that never stopped thirsting for piggy blood.
But they had to try, braving the lurking forest in the dark, their piglets thinly shielded in a row behind them. So determined were they to smell for the enemies ahead that they never noticed the runt of the litter get momentarily lost and break the silence with an oink of desperation, one small oink that awoke those big teeth that chased and and bit, chased and chased, bit and bit… They ran until their bellies were grated pink by the undergrowth… and they were less in number-
-and back on the pothole streets of Knysna next to the gardens where they’d had breakfast.
They had once numbered a proud twenty-six, two families grunting with pleasure as they searched for truffles in the gardens of white, two-legged animals who sometimes chased them but were never fast enough to hurt them. Those were good days, especially the muddy ones…
… but it was hard to think about that now as fear and the echoes of their dying children crowded their small brains. They were traumatised… but the Hog and Sow remembered their duty, maybe instinctively rather than deliberately (but deserving respect nonetheless), and moved to protect the five piglets that remained. The combination of terror and cold had been harsh on the little ones who crowded together against the wooden fence of a guesthouse in Grey Street, seeking each others warmth and comfort. Their mother pushed herself against them, bolstering their ‘shelter’.
The dad stood beside them, on guard in the mist. Unlike a pig and more like a human parent, he never moved as i approached him. So uncharacteristically, none of them did. The night had been too hard. This was all that they had in a place they didn’t belong, an exposure to everything and nothing.
I wanted to, somehow, say that they would be okay but, even untranslated and unsaid, that was a lie made even grander by me belonging to the species that had done this to them.
It’s Winter in Knysna. They were still shivering when i left. My thoughts are shivering too.
When will the Knysna Municipality and it’s politicians, both DA and ANC, discover their humanity and sort the roaming animal problem we’ve experienced for years? In particular, i address Municipal Manager Grant Easton, Community Services Director Dawie Adonis and DA Section 80 Community Services Chairperson Irene Grootboom. Until they exercise their power, something so easy for them to do, they are all guilty of animal cruelty. It’s also about respecting the taxpayers who deserve the right to have gardens and their neighbourhoods free of disease, flies and shit. Sort the problem before drivers gets hurt.