Pigs, Dogs, the Ozone Layer & the Enigma of Humans.
Ernest wallowed around in his pen, lapping the mud up onto all parts of his opulent porcine flesh. He was happy. His pen was empty today and he could enjoy his 9th birthday in relative peace. He rolled over, smearing more mud onto his back, gave a joyful flick of his ears, and settled down to a mid-afternoon nap, looking forward to the pleasant thought of more slops from the trough in an hour or so.
The sun beat down, trying with extreme difficulty to permeate the stench ridden mud on Ernests back and side. Some of it managed to fight its way through to the pinkish flesh, UV rays biting deep into the exposed epidermis. Ernest didnt really care! He could burn as much as wanted to today, he was nine after all. It didnt concern him that there was ozone depletion in process. Nobody tells pigs anything anyway.
He heard the soft padded footfalls approaching the pen from the barn, and raised an ear to monitor the progress of whatever was nearing his enclosure. He could tell from the rapid motion of the sound that the interruption was four legged, and probably Seymour, the Border Collie. Bugger, he thought, the last thing I want to do today is converse at length with some demented sheep dog on the merits of chasing ones tail.
Ernest feigned sleep, ensuring his tail switched just enough to indicate to anyone watching that he was deep in sleep, slowing his breathing to provide further evidence of his subconscious state. Hopefully, Seymour would be dissuaded enough not to waken him up.
"Hey Ernest, I know youre awake," yapped Seymour. "What ya doing?"
Ernest settled down even further into replicated deep sleep pattern, hopping the dog would be fooled. This bloody collie could be damned persistent though.
"Ernest, I have some news for you. Wake up," he yapped, even louder than the first time. Ernest knew it was useless.
"Yes, you moron, what do you want? Something about some news did I hear you say."
Ernest pulled his bulk over to his belly, placing his legs strategically under his body, and used his powerful leg muscles to push his 400 pounds onto his cleft hooves. Just to give the dog a bit of an insight as to his annoyance at being disturbed from his reverie, he emitted a loud belching grunt, and let rip with a well aimed fart in the direction of the dog for good measure.
Seymour backed away a little, the strong smell creating an injurious assault on his sensitive nostrils, and setting his stomach off in small nauseous coughs. He moved to the upwind side of the pen, and squatted on his back legs, waiting for the pig to approach him.
"Yes, Seymour, you bloody cur, you have my attention. What is so damned important as to wake me on this fine day?"
"Do you know why you are in your pen today, by yourself?" asked the dog, a malicious sneer spreading across his features. His mischievous behaviour was disturbing Ernest. Seymour was normally a peacefully honest working dog, only taken to occasionally playing pranks on his penned mates. Ernest was puzzled though.
"Come on, spit it out." demanded Ernest, "you obviously know something that affects me."
"Well, I was up at the farmers cottage earlier, sniffing the backside of that suave Snookie, you know, the white poodle that lives up there, and she kept on giving me the come on. So I tried to get on for the ride of my life, and the farmers wife comes out of the house and gives me a good stiff kick on my hindquarters, just as I was about to you know?." Seymour turned his head towards his tail, licking the ruffled fur on his rump, the target area. He looks back and continues. "Anyway, I hightailed it around the house and hid under the veranda, licking my wound. Guess who else was under there?
Ernest cocked his head to the side, signalling for the collie to continue, as he no doubt would.
"Jasmine and Sooty, those two cats that spend all their time locked up inside the house." said Seymour, with mock surprise.
Those two cats outside? What did this mean, thought Ernest.
"Outside?" quizzed the pig, somewhat perplexed by the relevance of this information.
"Yeah, seems they got caught doing it on the ladys bed and were banished. Anyway, they were talking about something when I interrupted them. They asked what I was doing under the veranda, and told them my tale, whereby they told me theirs. We shared a little laugh, then Sooty pipes up and asks me Do I know why all the pigs, sheep, and cattle have been sent away? And I replied I didnt know they had."
At the mention of his porcine mates, Ernest pricked his ears, to listen to what the dog was about to say. Something important had happened, and he wasnt aware of it.
"Go on," he said.
Just as the dog was about to continue, a loud human vocal explosion erupted from the farmhouse, the farmer obviously discontent with something he had done. The sound of "Bugger it, damn, Boop, bugger bum Beep!" Ripped through the still country air. The animals in the vicinity of the tirade cringed in fear. The master was not a good person to be round when he was like this. Then another tirade "Bloody ignorant fools, when are they going to get it? I ask six simple questions and all I get is Beeping fools, Beeping madmen, and Cool Slurping idiots replying, thinking the world is created for their mother beeping pleasure!" Silence ensues as he settles down again to his business.
Seymour, whod laid down at the outburst, crawls over to the pen, closer to the pig to finish his revelation. He bunches his strong sleek leg muscles for a quick getaway, in case the pig decides to assail his nose again.
"The master has apparently changed his ideals. Polly was sitting in the study, watching him on his computer, reading some stuff, and he turned around and started talking to the parrot as if Polly would understand. Which of course she does. Anyway, he says to her I am now a vegetarian, no more grazing animals creating holes in the ozone layer with their methane emissions, no more killing animals for humans to digest and get sick on, no more chemicals to assist with the rapid growth of the grass, and no more guilt. I am becoming an environmentally friendly farmer. Polly says she was bemused by the context of what he was saying but he seemed dead serious."
Seymour leapt to his feet, moved around the pen to the water trough and lapped up some discoloured water. Man, he got thirsty when he talked. Ernest followed him over and had a drink himself, just for good measure. The story was going to be long, and he felt, important to his longevity.
"Anyway," continued the dog, "Polly says the master then rings up some cartage company and overnight they take all the animals away. He then rang an organic hydroponics distributor and signs up the farm for organic growing of vegetables. Bizarre. Im out of work, you survive for some reason, and the world changes because of some computer information. Theres no figuring these humans." concludes the dog.
"Yeah, no figuring," replies a pensive Ernest. "Why have they kept me then, do you think?"
"Well, they kept four cattle and one pig, so my guess is he is happy to have some animals around to help with the natural fertiliser, if you get my drift." Seymour responds. He can be quite insightful at times, thinks the collie.
Ernest muses over this information. Of, course, I am to be kept as a faeces production plant! How ignoble. I am going to grow old by producing piles of crap for the vegetable gardens. Oh, woe is me, no more meat in my scraps! I am an omnivore, I need meat. Why do the decisions of humans have to affect us bloody animals all the time?
He wondered, then, why pigs couldnt fly, because if he could, he would be out of there in a jiffy. Then he thought, a flying pig! Huh, would have to have a wingspan the size of a small Cessna to carry my large frame around.
The pig dismisses Seymour, thanking him for his discourse, and settles down once again. He makes sure that his mud caked body is revitalised of its natural sunscreen, and sets off thinking about the changes that have chanced upon him. OK, no more mates to grunt with, no more sows to try it on with, no little ones to piss him off, and a pen to himself. Not a problem. But the meat scraps, that was a problem. But if it meant that the ozone layer would close up and negate the need for him to cake himself in mud, so be it. But the weirdest of things was the challenge it presented to the humans. They could make a small difference by killing all the grazing animals, but how on earth were they going to kill their transportation animals, those metallic objects they drove around in. And were they capable of not growing onions and capsicum and other spices and vegetables that made them fart. He thought not!
These humans were a bloody enigma, he thought, as he went to sleep, in his pen, by himself, under the bright mid afternoon sun.