While in Hawai'i on the the big isle in April I spent a lot of time chasing pigs. Lucky for me I am scary to them 'cause some of those big boars could like clean my clock! My trusty pig chasers Bella and little Leo were always so far ahead of me I just don't even know why I put on my slippas. Mostly all went well, the pigs were run off down the road to root and terrorize the land of others along Kaiwiki road. Now that I am back 'home' in Kansas ( I still have a hard time saying this is my home after living on O'ahu for 5 years, it is like choking on a switch blade.. in fact every time I met someone new in Hilo, I'd slip into a monolog of explanations and fear in my eyes and .."I am not really from there but I stay there... but I was born there..." The new people would kinda look at me and wrinkle their eyebrows and I could see inside their minds thinking I was maybe on some bad acid I found in my drawer left from 69....) ok, so denial gets ugly sometimes.
Back to the pigs.
I never got a picture of them grazing lazily in the Mac nut orchard and I sent out a couple of emails and got some pics from no less, the tea folks Jan and Gary who own the very same orchard. Now I can do a painting of the pesky pigs trashing the place. This prompted a .."do you remember that story you sent about the pigs you had ......." I emailed a lot of stories of my Hawaii life adventures. So here is the story I found saved in a dark drawer on a disc marked text.
For background info: during this time I was living with my boyfriend ( big mistake, but my rent was going up $400. buckos- welcome to Hawaii!) in Kahalu'u, the last house in the jungle at the end of the road after I had been laid off for the 1st time ever. I had taken a part time job at the Kualoa ranch 7 miles down the road driving the 6 wheeled jeeps trying not to go over the edge and kill all of us. Yes, they were paying me money for that.
Aloha and guess what...The season for good food is upon us and last year the pig that was destroying the yard was plucked by someone and just 3 days before turkey day.... hmmmmm.
well, our 'this years pair of pigs' were growing fast and rather leisurely strolling in and out all day. Here in the mornings running gleefully up and down the drive way and then back at noon to chow on the newly fallen prized 'butter' avocados. They slept in the ginger wet from the rain run off, waiting for me to feed the chickens so they could graze with them on grain under the biggest mango tree. I knew they would be chasing the chickens soon, practicing to later eat them as these wild pigs do as they grow up and become more aggressive. And then soon they would eat my pond lilly because it is a root and pigs are rooters.
I took pictures of them under the clothes line with my new camera while they grazed in the warm afternoon sun on wasabe peas I had thrown out for the chickens ( cleaning out the fridge before Garrett started barking at me). I got close enough to touch them as I photographed away and then they would startle, then come back to feed because they were little 'piggies'.
Now they were distinctly different colors. The female was brown and her tail would wag constantly. The more aggressive male bother was darker and his tail was straight. He was cautious this last week and often I thought one pig was gone now, but he just would show up later. They were aging and he would soon leave her to go off into the valley behind us. She had to tolerate his nudging her away from the food, but she just wagged away and got whatever she could. Reminded me of my brothers and how I would squeeze between them at the table to get some food onto my plate.....
One day at the Kualoa ranch I asked about some one wanting them and Robyn said he could catch them. I asked Garrett since it was his house. He complained relentlessly about them. He said "yeah", then he got quiet. He thought they would 'catch' them by trapping. ( actually they are too big now) I said they would bow. He said he didn't want to know.
One afternoon Robyn came and he brought a friend, nice guy, a fireman from Mililani. They walked back into the jungle then came back and checked out the other side. No pigs today.
Saturday came and the pigs were here all morning. Oddly Garrett, the slowest man ever, was up and leaving. I called Robyn. Garrett on the way to his Bronco then threw avocado pits at the pigs grazing under the mango tree. Damn it! I was luring them to remain here until Robyn came. I yelled at him. After all he had just complained that the pigs had eaten more of our now sparse grass. He said " they don't have to die today" and drove off to do errands before the UH game. I said nothing. Garrett had just said he wants them gone and now said he doesn't want them gone. Robyn was on his way.
I fed the chickens for the 3rd time. The chickens clucking- feeding sound kept the pigs here. Then I walked up to the front of the gravel drive way and got a fallen avocado since the pigs had already eaten all the ones in the back. Robyn pulled in and took out his bow. I pointed and he saw them now. Easy pickn's. Just sit under the awning and shoot.
We sat there. Talking, the girl wag tail pig moved closer. Robyn threw out big corn chunks. Way better than chicken 2 way scratch! She looked at us and ate. He stood up. She bolted, then came right back.He moved his arm with the bow to get her use to the movement. She just didn't know him. I talked. She knew my voice, then he got into position. He asked "you want to watch?"
I said "yeah".
I set it up. I wanted to see. He explained how he would take her just behind the shoulder not to disturb 'the meat' and it would be quiet. She faced us eating away. Then she turned. Good shot. Robyn turned to me, he was as close to her as ten feet and he smiles at me feeling kinda...."she is so little, yeah?"
She bolts. He relaxed saying she'll be back. And she is. She faced us again. he moved over, she jumped, then returned. Suddenly as I watched her alive and trusting, knowing she would be shot any second he let the arrow fly.
She whispered in surprise and spun away from us and disappeared running behind the tree.
I turned around without moving my feet. Robyn spoke quietly walking behind me like he was unsure of my reaction. He didn't know me. As a child I'd hunted with my Dad and brothers. I was wanting the mechanics of just what happened. Robyn quietly spoke that he shot her behind the shoulder. The arrow goes cleanly through them. He reached out and tapped my leg lightly "It feels like that". They don't know what it is. The pig runs and then stops. She was bleeding out. Then she would die.
I was wrapped in the experience. We sat there and then up comes the male. "See, he doesn't even know" Robyn said. The sister was off dying yards away and the male comes up to eat. After he eats we never get a shot and he bolts. Robyn follows him into the jungle. I am alone.
I mean alone.
The chickens are freak'n gone.
It is quiet and sunny. I wait. Then I get up and check Tuffie's oil and water. I wait. I go inside and get on the computer to job search. I look up and Robyn is walking by the front door to his truck to put away his bow. We go to where he has pulled the female pig to the clearing where she ate. She looks warm and soft. He told me the male he shot but couldn't find him. He found only one of his arrows. Her blood was brilliant on the lime green ginger leaves.
So hopefully the male went down into the valley to die, not close to us to smell the death.
We bagged the female and loaded her into the truck. We sat and talked story. He will bring by some meat this week.
Garrett came home and we went to the game. He hasn't asked. I have said nothing.
The next morning he asked if I had "...fed the chickens and the pigs"? I just looked at him and felt my eyebrows arch. Huh?
I will never tell him anything. He said he didn't want to know and so I took care of it. The male never came back. So I guess he is gone. The female was used and so not wasted. My Dad always said if you are going to hunt you must use what you kill. So that is what I believe.
I think it is so quiet without pigs eating peas under the clothesline here. The chickens were gone a day, only half returned. The pig pictures in my camera will be different now when I go back and look at them.