Recently I was passing through customs in the US, and the officer asked me if I had been in any contact with pigs or cows. I affirmed that I had and so he asked if I live on a farm. I said that I did not.
“But you went to a farm…” He inquired.
“Sort of?” I replied, “I live in the country.”
“Oh, so on a farm.” He confirmed.
“No, I don’t live on a farm,” I reiterated, “but there are pigs walking through the street and my yard all the time.”
“But you don’t live on a farm?” He was thoroughly confused. I suppose it might be a little difficult for a customs officer to grasp that pigs might just be local traffic where I live.
Local traffic and a nuisance.
When I was little, my favorite animals were pigs. It started with one special stuffed animal pig that my mom gave me when I was four years old and grew into quite the collection of cute, pink, stuffed pigs. However, now that I live in a rural village, my sentiments towards pigs have changed some.
My collection of docile and clean pigs is not like the pigs that break through my fence to sniff around in my yard and eat my watermelon plant, snuggle down under where my sink drains to cool off in the mud, or leave droppings in the middle of the street.
They are like destructive squirrels.
And they are everywhere:
However, what I have realized over time is that pigs are people’s pride. It’s a little like their form of a bank; one invests in a piglet and then when there is an emergency or a large expense, the pig is sold for profit. I can get onboard with that idea, I just wish people would keep their own pigs in their own yard.
While my love for pigs has changed since living here, I will admit that it’s not all bad living in such close proximity to them. For those of us who enjoy it, there are quite a few holidays here that are celebrated with very fresh chicharrón!