Sunday, August 08, 2004


Last night as at dusk we were heading down the mountain on our way to the Katata Fireworks Festival (described a couple of posts ago) we disturbed what appeared to be a large male inoshishi (wild pig) who had been about to depredate the lusciously heading rice stalks in one of the paddies on the north side of the road. (The wild pig-preventive electric fence mentioned previously stands uselessly incomplete.) As we came around the curve, our headlights caught rice-fattened hindquarters just disappearing into the thick bamboo undergrowth on the south side.

[Splendid fireworks.]

As we were returning home, we'd gotten up near the house when we saw the same wild pig guy standing very large on skinny legs, ready to maraud the paddies on the upper north side across the road from us, when at the sound and then sight of our car he vacillated a moment whether to continue with his supremely delicious intentions or go for the better part of valor, which as we drew near he did, diving into the bamboo thicket below our house.

This morning I walked down to where he had stood deciding, and sure enough, he had come back during the night. I'd expected to see a visibly ravaged rice field, as though a dozen or so sumo wrestlers had rolled around and flattened everything, but judging by the traces of his rice-ravaging technique Mr. Pork, like all the porcines, is very smart.

Instead of just pigging out right there visibly at the tempting verge, where all the succulently drooping rice stalks invited big piggy bites, Porco had restrained himself, first delicately and almost invisibly entering the rice field itself, thereby disappearing from view; he then-- as I could make out from his thin walking track through the tall stalks-- gorged randomly around the paddy in the dark (for him no doubt a form of heaven), scarfing the rice heads as they presented themselves to him at just about jaw height. He'd wandered a dithery path at his leisure; then when replete with only the finest food in a wild pig's world, he'd exited the field on another side away from the road, where no one would see.

Right now in a cool copse somewhere in the hot day sleeps a wild pig stuffed with rice and a certain knowledge of heaven.


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