Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Tiger-hound and the unattainable pig

The lost dog

So last night we lost our dog. You’ll have gathered from a brief look around my social media that we are kind of big fans of our dog, so it was all mind-bendingly worrisome.

Duchess, or as she is often referred to, the Tiger-hound, was last heard yipping excitedly, hot on the trail of some delicious prey. Now, she is not the kind dog to miss a meal, so when she didn’t turn up later that evening, we became deeply concerned.

My husband and I took turns going around the farm with a torch calling for her, while the other paced about the house wringing their hands. Around midnight we decided to call off the search party and resume with full vigour the following morning. Where on earth was our fur baby?? Needless to say, our slumber was patchy at best. By this stage full neurosis had taken hold and I was absolutely certain that Duchess had been dog-napped.

I woke with a deep sense of resignation that never again would our clean sheets be sullied by muddy paws...

Repeatedly, I checked outside the door, hoping to find her there and at long last; she was. Looking utterly sheepish and apologetic; not to mention very untidy. Relief swept over me and shortly thereafter, Duchess was subjected to full forensic analysis.

Judging by the dishevelled upholstery, light lacerations and blood spatter about the head; I concluded that she was indeed involved in a scuffle, resulting in the apparent demise of the aforementioned prey. The type of soil that clung to her paws and belly is derivative only of the oak plantation across the road. We are starting to form a picture of what took place.

The dark, dark forest

The oak plantation spans about 8 acres and is ancient, dense and a haven of unchecked disorder. Usually, we run free range pigs under there to dine on the dropped acorns. They eventually become bacon so ambrosial that devotees have been known to prostrate themselves in front of the freezer for it. But I digress.

In the interim between having our own pigs in the oaks, a fierce looking wild sow and her hairy offspring have been squatting there uninvited and feasting on our fodder. Not amused! It was after one of these terrible beasts that Duchess must have taken chase. In the frenzy of the hunt she obviously became disorientated and unable to find her way.

Damn those attainable pigs

I can’t blame her. I understand the desire to snatch that seemingly unattainable pig. Writing is an isolating pursuit. Freelance writing, when you otherwise have toddlers for conversation and live in rural New Zealand can feel extremely isolating. But the only answer is to press on towards your goals. Just keep moving forward.

However, sometimes you can become so disoriented you can no longer see the wood for the trees. Is this where I was meant to be heading? Where do I go from here? Am I even going in the right direction to get to where I want to go? Only the disconcerting sound of silence replies. Despondency can be an easy bog to stumble into when your work is being sent out into the ether and long, eerie, indeterminable silences can follow. Is anybody out there, can you hear me?

Then, a voice answers you back. Feeling, utterly sheepish and apologetic. You realise you hadn’t strayed far from the path you had intended to be taking and once more, stride confidently forth. Will one ever be able to completely quash self-doubt? Probably not, but keep the faith and just keep moving forward.

Remember Timone’s Hula from The Lion King?

If you're hungry for a hunk of fat and juicy meat
Eat my buddy Pumbaa here because he is a treat
Come on down and dine
On this tasty swine
All you have to do is get in line
Aaaare you achin'
(Yup, yup, yup)
Foooor some bacon?
(Yup, yup, yup)
Heeee's a big pig
(Yup, yup)
You could be a big pig too.

That pretty much sums things up on the pig front.

Happy writing!