Climbing into the murky darkness that was the understorey of a house, we spied the pig who council had alerted us to. The tale went like this: a medium-sized black and white boar had been taking refuge in the area for several weeks, at first masquerading as a wombat and sending the household dogs into a frenzy. By what circumstance Alfie had found himself alone in a foreign world we do not know, but what we did know was that we were his last hope.
Ever-so-carefully constructing a thoroughfare under the house that would lead Alfie to his new life, we maneuvered amidst cobwebs, sodden earth, discarded timber and who knows what. Then the time came to test our plan. Aided by the sweet scents of pigmash and a hungry tummy, Alfie began to move. And our plan couldn’t have been more perfect, as Alfie gingerly inched up the ramp, blinking in the bright sunshine, into his straw-lined chariot that was to ferry him to an entire new world of possibilities, delicious treats and kindness.
Once at the sanctuary and still to properly make acquaintance with our new porcine friend, we were anxious, for we did not know what state his civility would be in. His injured front leg and wounded head suggested some nasty encounter had occurred some weeks previous. Thankfully, this encounter hadn’t claimed Alfie’s life, but clearly it had claimed some of his trust. But did we mention pigs are smart, and their smarts are keen, for it didn’t take Alfie too long to recognise us as the good guys and the dispensers of tummy rubs, a vast array of food and good company. Sitting next to Alfie in his straw-filled house, looking out towards the night sky, we took great comfort in knowing that at last Alfie had found the love he had been denied. A gentle sweet soul is Alfie, and one who has now nestled into our hearts. And there he shall stay forever more, as a friend and not food—and it is for us to ponder: oh Alfie, how could we humans have got it so wrong? “What’s it all about, Alfie, what’s it all about?”