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Pigs, Are You Guilty?

30 December 2006

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 at.

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 pigs.

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 words:

"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!"

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