It stands, hoofs-deep, in a field of mud. A young black and white pig. Its hide stretched too-tightly over its scrawny frame. It fixes me with a beady eye, and I’m not the least bit surprised when it addresses me – in clear, succinct English. After all, mere moments ago, this very same pig had been a gargantuan earthworm, plowing through the muddy field like a subterranean marlin.
“Are you going to feed me?” the pig demands vexedly. Its voice swells to fill the cavern, gets caught against the shadow-filled ceiling overhead. Thick mud covers its large, flat snout, evidence that it has been rooting through the field in search of food.
But I’m not here to feed the pig – I didn’t even know there was a pig down here. I’ve come to feed the cats.
“Oh, of course. Can’t forget to feed the cats.” The pig hunches its bladed shoulders and snorts sarcastically. “Precious cats,” it mutters.
Skirting the edge of the furrowed and deeply rutted field, I edge toward a shabby green shack where the cat food is stored. The pig’s gaze follows me, his squinty stare vaguely unsettling. Uncertain how he’ll react, I offer to give him some of the cat food.
The pig grunts with indignation. “I suppose cat food is better than no food,” he remarks archly.
I ignore his tone, attribute his crankiness to hunger. After tossing several handfuls of cat food to him, I watch as, snout down in the mud, he devours every bit. Greedily, hungrily, completely.