Religious think that greediness is work of the devil. Revolutionaries think it is social class characteristic.
The Big Boar and the Bourgeois
Thunder that echoed in the hills roused everyone that cold morning. Dead, heavy tree branch crashing down in the forest can create a sound like that. But this one must have come from a shotgun. The night before, our host, a settler living beside the forest, assured that if we lend him a shotgun before day break, we would have plenty of meat by daylight.
We all ran to a ridge that overlooked the place where the sound could have come from. To investigate farther would have meant going downhill and then threading back uphill, probably all for nothing. Instead, somebody let out a big “HOOOH!” It is a call by people in the hills that can mean anything, like: “Hi there”, “Good morning”, “Come over” “Damn you”, depending on manner and situation. In our case it simply meant something like “Did you get it?” Farmer replied with a hoot that made us all run downhill with excitements. Hurrah, he got it!
The prey, a male, was the biggest wild boar I’ve ever seen. Maybe I had eaten bigger ones but that one was in one piece. He got 6 of 9 buck shots in his side. He was all muscles and ugly mean looking. Hunters call him “Solohan” as he usually goes solo. He is also known as “Tanguhan” for his razor-sharp tusks that are constantly honed as he eats. When he forages at night, hunters call him “Bokauan” for owls that accompany his presence, hard to get so that any hunter will tell you the owls are to blame for that! Anyway, it took three guys and the farmer to hog-carry him uphill.
I decided to linger around with five others guys… So, big boar came to feed on nuts of what looked like a wild Pili tree… So, maybe next time I see a tree so trampled underneath it must be a sure spot for a kill…
Day has broken… Indirect sunlight inside the forest is cool… Next season maybe settler will slash and burn the place… Harmonious flora, beautifully architectured, will soon be gone. All that for a few sacks of rice… haaah…
Just then, a strange rumbling cut my mind. It felt like earthquake but it was not. It felt like the hill was rolling down on us but it did not. And before anybody had moved or said anything, there they were! A herd of wild hogs- boars, sows, pigs and piglets, came here there and everywhere! They moved in frenzy manners. They looked deprived. They turned leaves, stones, sticks, whatever, upside down and aside for what big boar probably had missed. They did not even notice us right there! Have not they heard our noise?
I moved my eyes to the nearest guy without moving my head. He was also looking at me. A wink probably would have made him shoot one of the pigs. But I was stunned to even think about it. Then I saw this small pig trying to nudge with his snout the toes of the guy as he was barefoot. Small pig must have sensed something strange. It froze with hairs raised as it stared hard at the toes. Then it jumped as it shrieked and they all scampered away shrieking. What a wasted opportunity, everyone agreed! Anyway, we had feasted on big boar that day.
For many nights I had thought of the big boar. He must have been very selfish. He must have been highly individualistic. He must have been very mean to put distance between him and the herd as he goes through course of daily feeding… Maybe all others were his concubines, his offsprings and his slaves.
For quite a time I had accepted as fact and passed on to others that selfishness and individualism are bourgeois class characteristics. But since big boar is not human, greediness must be animal character!
But never mind the myth, if one does not like the way another scratches his nose, just say it is bourgeois manner and he wont be scratching his nose like that again. Everything bad to the devil, yeah.
As to the small pig, until this day, I can’t keep from chuckling to myself whenever he enters my mind even when that was many, many years ago.