Friday, June 26, 2009

Update on Pig

"So, What happened with the pig," my mother asked, truly concerned. "I've been worrying about that poor pig having nothing to eat," she says.

The pig-trade confusion was a simple misunderstanding. Ismael saw the produce guy in town and produce guy told Ismael he wasn't coming to get the pig. So when Ismael got home, he sent Nono and the pig to my house to let me know that, and that the pig was hungry and had no food. What the produce guy meant was that he didn't have a truck to come and get the pig, and that he was going to ask me to bring the pig in. I guess Ismael didn't think it was his business to ask WHY produce guy wasn't going to come get the pig, and so he didn't. Hhhmm. (Don't worry, Mom, we scrounged food for the pig in the meantime.)

So, Tuesday (or was it Wednesday) morning, Greg and I drove the truck up the road to Nono and Ismael's farm. Nono lured Ms. Piggy into the front yard with a pot of pig slop saved from the night before and Ismael, all 78 kilos of him, lunged and grabbed the hind leg of 80+ kilos of pig. Holy Shit! What a scene! Who knew pigs had such big mouths with frightening teeth. I didn't know. Hideous squealing and gnashing of teeth! Ismael dragged her backwards, twisting until she fell on her side kicking like mad and Nono swooped in and leaned on her backside while I grabbed and front leg and leaned with a knee on her shoulder. Ismael struggled to bind up her back feet, then with Nono controlling the pigs back legs, Ismael moved around and got a noose on her flailing snout with bone-crushing teeth snapping and throwing froth. I'm still on the right front leg and shoulder at this point and my legs are doing that involuntary shaking...fear and adreneline pumping and I'm afraid I might pass out before Ismael gets the snout and jowls secured. Nono is laughing. The pig is thrashing, trying to kick and squealing like a, well...like a stuck pig. Only we didn't stick her, just wrestled her down and tied her up.

The pig finally secured, it takes all of us to get her to the back of the truck. Ismael hops in the bed, reaches down and drags the pig up into the truck. Whew! Nono and I have a quick cigarette. Then off we go to town over the frozen gravel road, swooping down around Lago Lanconoa, along Rio Espolon and finally into Futa. No one thinks it's odd to drive into town with a squeeling pig in your truck. Folks walking along the street stop to admire the pig, the produce guy is grinning...he likes the pig and promises me the pick of the litter when the time comes. I'll have to think that over. A fairly peaceful custody transfer takes place in front of the store. Produce guy gives me a jug of chicha. He's so happy, I realize I should have asked a higher produce price for Ms. Piggy. Oh well, live and learn.

Then, in all the excitement of the day, we get back home and I realize I forgot to get vegatables. For dinner I have no meat, one cucumber, two potatos, one onion and a pimento pepper at the house. Thankfully, Ismaels fisherman friend from Chaiten stops by with his truck overloaded with coolers of fresh fish...salmon, merluza, long strings of smoked mussels, abalone and bags of cholgas. I bought two whole merluzas (a fish that looks like a snook, but tastes like grouper) and a string of smoked mussels. I hung the mussels over the wood stove and one of the fish on the front deck to freeze. A neighbor has seen a puma lurking in the area so I don't want the fish out back as an invitation.

We built up the wood stove, had a nice dinner; baked merluza with my merken spices, sauteed onions and pimento peppers, a honey-mustard cucumber salad and roasted potatos. Then we curled up on sheep skins on the floor in front of the wood stove, covered up with a quilt and watched The Sopranos late into the night. It doesn't get any better than this.

End of Pig Story.