Wednesday, August 26, 2009


THE TAO OF THE PIG


Coming up the road from the train last night I was rolling slowly on the motorcycle because on my way home at this special time of year I'm always gazing at the beauty of the old-ivory crescent moon dangling before the blue velvet tapestry sprinkled with diamonds above the pale gray mountain shadows (as I've posted about before), which esthetic activity can lead straight into a concrete telephone pole if you're traveling at even moderate speed through darkness along a curvy mountain road - especially if, like me, you're also wearing your reading glasses to keep the bugs out of your eyes - so as I say it was a good thing I was going slowly, even moreso because just as I rounded the second curve through the rice paddies I saw at the bottom of my vision a blurry brown something in the roadway and slowed even more -- what was it, a dog? No, it was an inoshishi (wild pig) almost as big as my motorcycle, galloping panicly toward me down the road in and out of my headlight, seeking escape, when just a moment before it had, in the way of all pigs in these nights of these parts, been trying to find a way through the low electric pro tem fence to get at the tender rice grains dangling in savory bunches just inches away from yearning pork teeth, all ready to devour.

But there in the face of porcine efforts, suddenly blocking the gourmet way, came a roaring creature with one big blinding eye, advancing relentlessly onward - the pig at first rushed toward me, trying maybe to get by and keep going downhill, but because of the headlight, it couldn't be sure how wide I was, so gave up on that and turned uphill, always the less desirable choice when escaping pursuit, and began trotting upward, now and then nervously glancing back over its shoulder to see if the roary monster was gaining, with possibly giant fangs.

Apparently the pig hadn't had much close-up experience with one-eyed monsters, nor had I any close-up motorcycling experience with solo nervous porkers, so I didn't want to try to race past a panicky pig either, I just kept traveling upward at pig trotting speed, gunning the motor now and then to urge the beast onward and upward, which the pig agreed was best: head for the safety of the woods above, there are no one-eyed monsters in the woods, but when I began to fall behind, the pig began to slow down too, so I beeped the horn and the pig perked up considerably, trotting quickly up the road - as pigs in front of motorcycles should damn well do in all cases - and, leaping at last into the welcome darkness and quiet of the woods, let the bright-eyed monster roar by, leaving darkness and silence in its wake.

In the Tao of the Pig, as in The Tao of the Human, the way is that by which one avoids consequences.

3 comments:

Tabor said...

So, in this dance in the dark, was the pig leading or you?

R. Brady said...

I was definitely urging on the pig that led me.

ted said...

I had a similar situation where, driving down from Mt. Daisen, I suddenly found I had a small gang of inoshishi in my lights. I did the same as you, let them set the speed, until another car came up from the opposite direction, and then the fun began. It was like watching a football game, the team racing up one way, then back the other again, on offense, then defense, yet played without pigskin.