A 2-legs throws mush on the hardness next to us. We don’t like the mush, but the boredom is painful and eating is something we can do. It is the only thing we can do. And so we eat. We don’t know why they feed us. They hate us. We all know this except for the babies. The babies wag their tails when the 2-legs come close. Soon the 2-legs will cut the tails off the babies and they will learn about the hate.
I hear a Being die. When one of us dies it makes a sound we all can hear. I don’t know who is dying. They are usually far away so I can’t see them, but I can still hear because it is not a sound of the ears, it’s a sound of the heart. Sounds of the heart travel instantly to all of us. When a sick Being dies, the 2-legs come with a cart and take the body to death-pile.
Only a few of us have seen death-pile. The only way to see it is when a 2-legs opens a hole in the side of the world. We don’t want to look at death-pile, but we always want to look through the hole in the side of the world, and so we see it. When there are many bodies in death-pile, they dump us in a moving box and carry us away. No one knows where the moving box goes. We think maybe to the blueness.
We have seen the blueness through the holes in the side of the world. It is bright and there are colors and shapes but we don’t know what they are. The blueness goes on forever, not like our world which is dark and brown and small. We think that do-free happens somewhere in the blueness.
We learned about do-free from a Being that came from another world to live with us here in the misery. This Being told us about a place where we can lie on softness and dig in something called fields. We can walk or even run whenever we want. And there are many different kinds of mush to eat. In this special place, there are some 2-legs that treat Beings with kindness. This is hard for us to imagine.
The 2-legs hate us for a reason we don’t understand. They call us names like pig and asshole and piece-a-meat and sucker. They kick us and yell at us and hit us with bats. They cut off parts of our bodies. They cut off our tails. And worse than that, they cut off our baby-makers. One day they come and do it with a cold piece of sharpness and we wail and are sorry we were born. We are all sick, many with injuries and sores and our no-tails hurt all the time. We must lie in our own come-out which they wash away every few sleepings. The smell is very bad. And the very worst thing of all, if there could be a worse thing than these, we are locked in cages with nothing to do. Some of us just lie on the hardness and we are dead, even if our hearts are beating.
They stick metal tubes in the soft places where some of us hold the babies. When the babies come they take the small ones and beat their heads on the floor until they are soft red mush. Why do they make us have more babies when they hate the babies? And why do they feed us? Even our wisest Being can’t answer these questions.
And then one day when we had all given up, they came and took us into the blueness. We walked under the high ceiling and saw the shapes and colors we had only seen through the holes in the side of the world. We saw the big bright light. We breathed air that did not make us sick and even the ones that couldn’t stand somehow walked. Together, we all dreamed of do-free.
We looked around in wonder, but they were yelling and hitting us, forcing us into big boxes with small holes on the side. We were pushed inside, tight against each other. It was worse than the misery. And then the box started to shake and we fell on ourselves. It kept shaking and we kept falling, and we all prayed for death. It got very hot and we were thirsty but there was no water. And we did come-out on each other because we had no choice. And then a Being died and we all got very scared. Even though we wanted to die, we were scared of dying.
After a very, very long time, the box stopped shaking and the 2-legs took us out into the blueness, but not one of us cared. They made us walk in a line, those of us that could still walk. Some were left in the big box. It didn’t matter who was left in the box and who was in the long line. All our dreams had ended.
The line led to another world. This one had a smell that was worse than the misery. We heard one Being die, and then another and another and another. We all knew this was death-world. Soon we were inside. The 2-legs put our bodies into a vice, one by one, and then placed a stick next to our heads. A big sound, and then we fell to the floor. They hung us upside down. For the ones still living, there was nothing left but fear. We stared at the rows of Beings hanging by one leg, swaying back and forth, tongues hanging loose.
It was my turn. I could not breathe. My body was in the vice, locked tight, and then — bzzzzztt — my body was gone and only the terror remained. They hung me upside down like the others. My eyes were open and I saw a 2-legs take a cold sharpness that caused a terrible pain as it slid through my neck. My blood shot out and hit the 2-legs, sprayed the walls, and ran like water on the floor. And then my eyes closed and finally my heart stopped. There was a long pause. And suddenly I could do-free. Finally, I could do-free.
They Call Us Pigs