I miss my life……I miss looking out of the window, sitting by the fire, pottering about humming to myself as I went about my ordinary life. But that is far from ordinary now…..
It all started quite subtly, just a feeling something was different, not quite right. I would look out of the window as I dressed and glimpse, in the forming dewy mist creeping along the field, a slight movement, a shape merging into a shadow. The light was dim and shifting. Could it be a deer? It didn’t move nimbly or gracefully, didn’t really appear to be there at all.
A few days later, as I climbed the track behind my house, the sun beat down onto my shoulders, the ground smelt warm from the late summer rays penetrating through the trees. As I walked on, following the path of a hover fly flitting between dandelion flowers, I heard a rustle, deep in the hedge. I know there was something there, the faint cloud of its breath lit up against the damp vegetation. But I was alone……
This uncertain feeling continued in my mind on several occasions after that.
The year was turning; the mornings were more crisp and clear. I was pulling seed heads out in the garden one day, when the pig lumbered into view. It was snuffling through the fallen leaves, looking for worms. That’s strange, I thought, my neighbour would normally have told me if she was getting more livestock. It was not alone, there were four or five, all different sizes but all intent on their grubbing. Two more appeared in the following week, gentle creatures. I didn’t see my neighbour, didn’t get the chance to ask her about the additions.
I spent a precious hour in the garden – tidying up before winter. As I pushed the barrow of deads through the gate to the compost corner, I was startled to see the rough turned over, exposed ground. Holes had appeared. In my pause I did not hear them coming. I jolted as the gate smashed against the back of my legs, powered by the combined force of several large pigs gambolling into the field. I fell onto the bare sticky earth, cracking my skull on the corner of my barrow as I went, and lay motionless and limp. I sank into a motionless sleep.
The pigs carried on scurrying and romping, pulling at my clothes. As they scuffed under my arms and sides, the soil started to slip and move, swallowing me into the damp, leafy loam.
Winter came and the last of the leaves fluttered from the trees. I consciously felt the first frost and knew I needed to fill my belly with something. Moving over to the hedge, I slumped down onto the ground with tiredness and waited, waited for a morsel to pass me and quench my hunger. After quite some time had passed and a watery sun had sunk below the level of the hill, a creature approached. As it passed the hedge, I clearly saw it carried something in its mouth. I couldn’t make it out – was it meat, a limp lifeless body? No it was stiff and pearlescent, a furless morsel.
As the dog stopped, it carefully dropped its prey and began to dig. I recognised the dog as my own, my faithful happy friend who loved me beyond all else. The many times, whilst out shopping, I recollected her smiling loyal eyes and was reminded to bring her home her favourite – a pigs ear. But when, I thought, had you ever seen her eat them? Take them yes and relish them, laying in the hall with the treat placed between her paws, coveting them.
As I watched the horror of the realisation dawned on me. They were my treats; they were my pigs, planted by my own dog. My breath was panicky, I could not shout. I fell to the ground, my snout steadying me where I lay and I watched in horror as my dog covered over the ear, planting the seed of my destiny and trotted back up the field and into the comfort of my old home..