Friday, February 10, 2012

The Great Escape

Been reading a lot of Stephen Abrose's books about the World War II, which really has nothing to do with this next blog post other than the movie the Great Escape came to mind while the following was happening, and how someone from the 'greatest generation' would probably handled this a lot better than I did:

Here's the scene: I've just returned home from teaching a summer school class of English and had changed out of my dress clothes, into some shorts and flip-flops. As I walk out of my room, to go to the kitchen, I hear the pigs making a lot of noise... nothing out of the ordinary. I walked into my kitchen asYordan made a break for the door. He's one year old, and likes to play outside... again nothing strange.

Then, while I'm talking to Dina about the day and what's for lunch, we hear a crash and Yordan scream (that kind of baby scream where you know somethings wrong). Dina and I both bolt out the door, and turn the corner to see that something (probably Yordan) has knocked down the wood pole blocking the pig pin, and the largest pig (who I previously had named Raul) has escaped. Dina freaks, as this huge pig makes a break for the chacra (where there are no fences). I grab a stick and try to corral it back in the pin... no luck. Dina grabs a rock and hurls it at Raul, sending streaking even faster towards the chacra. Dina takes chase and cuts of his escape, making Raul settle for the road behind my house. The road isn't much better, as the road leads to the highway or the river (both not very pig friendly), but at least its lined with cacti. Raul, who obviously didn't train for this escape as he was clearly winded from the jump and initial sprint, did have enough of tiger in his head to remain 5 meters a head of me as I jogged after him in my flip flops. My strategy was to hound him until he was too tired fight and then lead him back to the house. However, as the gringo causally chased his pig, Raul came up with a new tactic. He new approach was to milk his free time by ocassionally turning to face the gringo, and then sprinting towards him at full speed, snorting an squealing; striking fear in the gringo and buying himself more room to run.

When he first turned and charged me, I have to admit, I was scared. The first thing that flashed into my mind was of a bear charging, and how I should be playing dead. I'm proud to say I didn't play dead, but I also didn't do much to stop the pig... so we were off jogging in the other direction. After about a 2 minute jog, Raul turned on me again. However, I was ready for him. Instead of a bear attack, football came to mind, and I prepared myself for a solo open field tackle. I got into a nice stance, centered myself in the middle of the road, and got ready to make solid contact. Raul was making a lot of noise as he tried to sprint past me, but I noted that he made even more noise when I plowed my should into his front left quarter. I wrapped my head over his back and tried to wrap my arms around him but just I did this, I realized that there was no way I was going to get any traction in my flip-flops, nor be able to wrap my arms around his waste.

Dina appeared and was obviously concerned by the amount of noise Raul was making, and through her laughing, suggested that I need to change my tactics. So dusted myself off, and walked back to the house to get a piece of rope. Ten minutes later, I had found rope, made a loop, and located Raul resting in a nice cove of cacti; the perfect trap. I put the loop in my hands and began stalking up on Raul. When I got with in a couple of meters, he made his break. I lunged and soon found myself holding on to a rope with a large pig on the other end. The loop tightened around Raul's neck and he began to make the worse noise I have ever heard. I can't describe it, but imagine being a few feet away from a huge pig staring fearfully at you. It's mouth wide open, tongue out, and it nose pointed upwards while it lets out blood curling screams, one after another. I it freaked me out.

So I started play the loudest game of tug-a-war I've ever played. Raul screamed and refused to move, and I lend into the rope, like I was try to upright a capsized Hobie Cat. I lend with my body until Raul would take a few steps towards me, and then I take in as much of the rope as possible before Raul could step back. It was a slow, loud process, but eventually Raul was brought close enough to his pin, and conceded his defeat, choosing the safety of pin over the gringo with the rope. Everyone was safe and sound, and Dina scolded Raul, stating that he's going to be the guest of honor at my birthday pachamanca.

Related side notes:

Roger came home that night, and laughed at both Dina and I, saying that quickest way to get the pig back is give it more food.

I had dreams that night of the pig and it's squeal, it really stuck with me.

No pictures were taken.