Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Good Good Pig
"People ask, 'Will you get another pig?' This I don't know. But one thing I know for sure: a great soul can appear among us at any time, in the form of any creature. I am keeping my eyes open." from The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery.
So I picked up this curious little gem about, of course, a pig. The first fascinating thing I learned about pigs is that no one really knows how long they live, almost all pigs are slaughtered as soon as they are fat enough. The ones that serve as breeding sows are slaughtered as soon as they stop producing enough baby pigs--6 years at the most. Are there any other domestic animals that we treat this way?
So the hero of our story, lived an amazing 13 plus years and affected a lot of people in the process. The flowers and notes came from all over when Christopher Hogwood shuffled off this mortal coil. People loved and admired this pig.
This book isn't really about Christopher Hogwood, although he is a major player. This book is really an autobiography about naturalist and writer Sy Montgomery told through the lens of the life of her hog. She is the animal lover and she is the person who makes a life with animals. She understands them the way most humans do not. Her description of her affection for other creatures reminded me a lot of Temple Grandin who wrote Animals in Translation, another book about someone who can understand animals.
I recommend this book for Steph, for animals lovers of all kinds, for those who like a good story about pure love and devotion, and people who are seeking a great soul in any form.
Although I don't profess to have a kinship for animals, I did recently know a great good dog. Who are the great souls you have known--animal or not?