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Friday, March 13, 2015

Of Swine ride and donkey ride .... ways of travelling !!

Sure you have read this interesting fable of father, son and donkey.  On the move, father and son walked with a donkey.  First the father sat – people commented that he is making the young boy walk, while he sat on donkey; when son sat, people commented – that he is cruel in making his father walk and self sitting; both of them sat on donkey – people said that cruelty is meted out to the poor animal !!!!

Away from donkey, Pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig and its ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar. The young ones are called piglets.  Pigs are social and considered to be intelligent animals, though they do not find good references in folklore.

In one of the Ashes Tests in 2013, a spectator smuggled a pig into the playing ground and later he was arrested and made to appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court,  charged with animal cruelty. Then he agreed to undergo mediation with the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals.  The incident was a reprise of the 1982-83 Ashes Test at the Gabba where a group of vets brought in an anaesthetised pig that had "Beefy", for Ian Botham, written on one side and "Eddie", for Hemmings, on the other and let it on to the pitch.

Children play ‘piggyback’.  Piggyback transportation is transportation of goods where one transportation unit is carried on the back of something else.  Piggy back has nothing to do with pigs but is reported to have come from ‘pick pack’ – a reference to something being carried – something placed on the back.   In Oct 2013, there were reports of a Chinese official being removed from his post after he was pictured accepting a piggy back ride from a resident of a typhoon hit city through flood water - because he didn't want to ruin his shoes. A picture of the official, known only as Wang, sparked outrage when it was posted on Chinese social media website Sina Weibo. The photo was taken as Wang visited the city of Yuyao, in Zhejiang province, as the area suffered widespread flooding after being hit by a devastating typhoon which left 10 people dead.

A few months back, the photos and news of another man on ‘pig ride’ made news.  It was that of an elderly man who has raised pigs for 30 years seen riding his pig around streets and towns in China, after becoming too sick to walk.  It was reported that the 68-year-old pig farmer from Chongqing in China rides a hog which weighs 250 kg and stands at about 3 feet tall. He started riding it when an attack of bronchitis made him too sick to walk, which made him attempt to ride the pig.  

The man has herded pigs for 30 years, and is commonly known as a 'swineherd', an older term for pig farmer that has disappeared into obscurity with the passing of time.  He was originally skeptical that his idea would pay off, but after giving it a go, he found that it was a lot smoother than he thought it would be. After his realisation, he started riding the pig everywhere, from his house to market, to around the town.

The man was to be seen in all weathers, donning an umbrella when the weather would cause most to travel via car. Thanks to the pig being a sustainable vehicle, all he needs to keep going is a little bit of fuel for the pig in the form of some lettuce or scraps.  The pigs furry hide doubtless make it very comfortable, as the farmer raises a few eyebrows travelling down the roads.  The pig is  much cheaper than a car, as all it takes is some food rather than expensive petrol.

So this 68 year old man prefers riding a green vehicle – a hog around the town.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th mar 2015.

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