The Lord of the Flies

07-16-08

Piggy was dead.

Not the fat kid with the glasses from the book. No. Marlene and Douglas’ pig was on her way out at the time you arrived on the farm. Poor Piggy. 14 years old, horrible arthritis. Douglas would ask every evening, ”Did Piggy get out of bed this morning?” Of course not. He used to crawl in behind her and lift her to her feet. She would stagger around a little, eat her food, and then Douglas would go off to work. You, on the other hand, got to walk past Piggy day and and day out, hearing her grunting miserably, generally toppled over on her side, helpless, stuck there for the rest of the day.

So Piggy was put down two days ago. Douglas asked you, ”When was the last time you dug a grave?” You said maybe 15 years ago for a pet hamster. Well, they needed a bigger grave.

There is something to be said for digging a grave. Certainly a sad affair, especially when the corpse is so heavy that it cannot be moved long distances, and so the grave must be dug next to it. As the day wore on and the sun shone more brightly, the flies collected in hordes. You asked Edouard if he had ever read The Lord of the Flies. He had never heard of it, so while you were digging this grave, you gave him a synopsis of the book. Humans are not innately good–they have a darkness to them that can undermine their rationality. Morality is flexible.

At any rate, grave-digging day was a tense day. Everyone was pissed off. There was tension in the house that you’d never felt before. Though you are separate from family affairs, you yourself woke up on a particularly bad note. Maybe it was just your brain chemistry trying to reset itself after that weekend bender… but fuck. Bad news bears. You kept thinking about that book while digging Piggy’s grave. Just something depressing to focus on.

Lonely? Pissed off? Scared? Angry? Who knows? You took every tool on the farm to Piggy’s little house. There’s something everyone should know about digging a hole in Ireland. It’s mostly rocks. A little bit of dirt, and a fuckload of rocks. You spend the whole fucking day trying to sink your spade into the earth, and you hit 5 or 6 little rocks. It’s impossible. So you just got pissed and started beating the fuck out of the ground. Stabbing at it with the long bar, hacking at it with the axe, scraping and raking, scooping, stomping… you went full-tilt boogie for an hour, took a 5 minute water break, and then brought Edouard back to the hole for another solid hour of tedious, feverish digging. 3 hours total of digging. Between you and Edouard, that was 6 man hours. 6 hours to dig a hole a little deeper than a meter, big enough for Piggy. Yeah, that many rocks.

Yoga that evening was a welcome event, as you were completely exhausted. Despite how tired you were, your head was in tangles, your emotions all screwed up. You found yourself staving off tears through most of the session, and lingering on sad memories.

The next day you hauled out four wheelbarrows of rocks to displace the volume Piggy would take up in the hole. This day was off to a much better start. You and Edouard went to the site with tools and surgical gloves (you were plagued by nightmares of becoming septic again… septic anything: knees, fingers, hands, forehead). Time to put Piggy into the hole.

Piggy’s corpse was still in the little pig shack. She lay in a deep dark puddle of her own excrement. Her legs were stiff. Flies had eaten out her eyes. When you pulled the cover off the body, a wave of stink wafted over you. Edouard ducked out to dry heave for a moment. You crawled into the house and had him pass you tools. Wedging under the corpse all the bars and shovels you had, you managed to pull the pig up a few inches to free her from her muddy mold. You tried to push the body out, but she was still stuck.

You remembered back a few years ago, to the wonderful summer of 2004. Fours camp. The gay four. When Susan and Allison attacked you and hog-tied you.

Hog-tying turns out to be a very useful method for not only trapping an animal (or Maria Stevens), but for hauling an animal corpse out of a shitty little house. So, in you went with a rope, picked up Piggy’s stiff legs from the shit-bog, and wrapped the rope around them as best as you could. You handed the end of the rope to Edouard, who pulled hard while you pushed Piggy from behind.

Sweet. Pig extracted. Pushing her into the hole was a different matter, as her positioning next to a pipe running through the ground was imporant. You jumped in the hole to better regulate Piggy’s direction, only to have the fucking corse fall on you as you pulled it into the ground. You screamed and shrieked like a little bitch, jumped out of the hole, flailed around, and then dry-heaved for about five-minutes between efforts to wash the pig shit off your limbs.

It took 45 minutes to push the earth back into the hole. You and Edourad documented the event well, as you both know that it was the first–and last–time you would ever do that again.

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Categories: Ireland, Workaway/Wwoof | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Lord of the Flies

  1. When you said you got yourself into some crazy situation, I never thought it would bring you to buring a pig. The only comforting thing I can say it that it is an experience you will never forget and have lots of laughs over in years to come. Take Care. 🙂

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