18 February 2007 brings forth a fire pig year in Chinese
lunar calendar, which somehow is said to be a Golden
Pig year, so most Chinese, as one can imagine, are
eagerly looking forward to it.
If people are so keen on the pig year, imagine what pigs
feel about their own time coming. And when, just 57 days
before entering their ruling era, they found they were
about to face execution without trial, picture how furious
they must be.
Last Thursday, December 21, in Nanjing,
four fleshy grown-up pigs were allegedly ordered to get
up in the early morning and, leaving their family, friends
and possibly lovers behind, to get aboard the back of a
three-wheel truck that was only about one metre long by
one metre wide.
Ever since the pigs were born, life wasn’t too bad for
them. In fact, they were spoiled. When they were young,
they didn’t have to do homework; after they’d grown up,
they don’t need to look for jobs. They lived almost like
aristocracies - never cooked their own meals, never cleaned
their own rooms and never washed their own plates. It is
highly likely that when these privileged four received
marching order, they reckoned they were selected for a
pre-holiday sight-seeing ride or to participate in an eating
or sleeping competition which they were especially good
But when they found themselves locked in a crowded space
to smell each other’s bums, the proud pigs considered it
beneath their dignity. As a 60-year old butchery worker
further squeezed himself in to escort them, and as the
vehicle progressed towards the butchery, something in the
air told them that something wasn’t right.
Although pigs are normally illiterate and do not take
the trouble to write books about their past or future,
they may well have some sort of oral history passed down
by the snort of nose or have gossips exchanged between
individuals. Otherwise, why do they have such large ears?
And their knowledge of the history might well help them
to realise that they could be done away with this time.
The details of their emergency board (truck) meeting following
the realisation of their grave situation are murky, but
the action resolution it produced is clear. They decided
to launch a pre-emptive strike against the suspicious escort.
Pushed the poor man on the floor, they stamped and bit
him all over. When the truck finally delivered the gang
to the butchery, the people over there discovered that
one of their butchers has already been butchered by the
The horrific killing at once becomes quite a news story
across China and, according to the local media, a police
investigation into the incident has begun. It looks soon
a certain public prosecutor is going to file murder-charges
against the gang of four. If so, the court may have difficulties
to subpoena the accused since they’ve already been executed
prior to the police investigation. Had the court insisted
to do so, it may encounter a rather awkward situation
in which everyone, including the prosecutor, the judge
and each of the police officers, is entitled to take the
witness stand in the trial, unless he or she can prove
that he or she has not eaten pork related food, say meat
balls in meicai or steamed pork dumplings, after the incident;
or he or she has hard evidence to confirm the pork products
he or she consumed were definitely not part of the remains
of the defendants.
That would be a mission, not impossible, but difficult
to accomplish, guess.
What is highly likely is that for the impact they have
generated, the gang of four may turn into legendary figures
in piggie folklore with many fictional details being flavoured
in. One version could conclude like this:
Before they face the guillotine on that tragic day,
they requested the human journalists to spread their
"While waiting to hear our fate, we contemplated
long and hard, and now we have this message to you, our
dear pig brothers and sisters across the nation and abroad:
Stop sniffing each other’s smelly bums; begin working
on narrowing the gaps between different versions of various
gossips; and above all, do not hate butcher-led ham,
bacon, sausage and other pork dish lovers. Happy Pig
Year for everyone!"
City with Two Faces