Last weekend we invited a couple over for dinner. Inevitably, the conversation turned to pigs. Pigs do visit us more frequently than any other mammals. This couple has family coffee land, which they don’t actively farm, and they had a pig problem many years ago. I’m not as good a storyteller as they are, and I might not have the details 100% correct, but you’ll get the gist of it.
At first they started with the “young farmers” who wanted to trap the pigs on this couple’s property. “Young,” as in their 70’s or 80’s. Apparently they were drinking beer and talking story in the couple’s carport most of the time, when the couple was away at work. The Mr. was the first to find out, unbeknownst to the Mrs., because he had to go home mid-day for some reason. Apparently, he just joined them and had a beer with them in the carport. The Mrs. found out some time later and put an end to that. One random day, I think one of the young farmers went into their office and plopped a big pig leg onto her work desk. “Here, this is your share.” I guess at least one of the traps worked.
The turnaround point with their pigs was like a story of magic realism. The Mr. had a dream where he was commanded to make peace with the pigs, and he saw a white pig. I’m fuzzy on the details here, but it was a dream anyway. The next day in real life, he saw a pig carcass on their property, and it had a white coat of hair. From that point on, there was peace. No more ripped out pineapple or other plants.
What?!! That’s too simple! Just like that?! **HOW** did you make peace with the pigs?! Details, details. He fenced in certain areas, not even electric fencing, and he gave them their space, and the humans had theirs. I’m concluding it was essentially a mindset and presumable mutual respect. As we gave more examples of what we took as pig meanness and our frustration outlet of throwing rocks from the lānai, he sensed our combative attitudes and reactions. He gently chided, “That’s not making peace with the pigs.” He agreed that the pigs did seem to be drawn to plants/places of our interest, and they did seem to do spiteful acts. But he shrugged it off, like “they’re pigs.” I’m going to remind myself of my post from a few weeks ago: Peace in your heart, that’s where it starts.
Bea asked how much an electric fence is. We don’t even know. She asked, “Fifty thousand?” If it is, it’s not worth it for us! Somehow that large figure got me to evaluate the problem differently. Spend a lot to keep pigs out of a certain area, our area, and it just pushes the problem elsewhere. And there’d be fence maintenance and repair and maybe just another new source of frustration. We should just spend more money to buy and plant taller, more mature plants and trees that the pigs can’t destroy. Again, it’s all in the way we choose to look at and react to the situation. (I’m coaching myself here … peace, peace, peace with the pigs).
I’ll close with another photo gallery, scenes from the farm on Sunday, May 22.